Posts Categorized: Housing

Housing Affordability in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Election 2018 CAIRINE’S COMMITMENTS Issue #4 Increases in housing prices and decreases in affordability have posed tough housing challenges here and across the region in recent years.  With Oak Bay’s land values at an all time high, housing demolitions of older, smaller character homes more commonplace, a real estate market driving an average home price in Oak Bay of $1million, and an average rent of $1,400 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, it’s no wonder that the issue…

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Comments to Oak Bay Council on Saving a Heritage Home

MY COMMENTS TO OAK BAY COUNCIL May 28, 2018     First, I would like to acknowledge, with thanks, planner Deborah Jensen for her continued assistance to the Commission on this application and for her report and recommendation.  At its regular meeting on May 8, 2018, the Oak Bay Heritage Commission considered a demolition application for 599 Island Road, an iconic Francis Rattenbury/Samuel Maclure stone mansion built in 1909 and site of the original Jones’ family estate.   After careful deliberation…

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ODE TO THE SMALL OLDER CHARACTER HOME

  Perhaps it was the sight of the heavy excavator perched on the back of a big lumbering truck, slowly moving along our street early this morning, bound for another older smaller Oak Bay character home waiting to be demolished.  Or sounds of the excavator crunching, splintering and breaking apart, piece by piece, beautiful old growth lumber and oak hardwood flooring, grabbed and lifted by metal jaws and dumped unceremoniously into the ubiquitous yellow bin. Or the high-pitched whine of…

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HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IN OAK BAY

Housing Affordability in Oak Bay A two-part public forum on housing affordability in Oak Bay, sponsored by the Community Association of Oak Bay, brought packed audiences to both sessions held February 24 and March 3, 2018 at Windsor Park.  The following summary is based on my notes and observations of presentations and one of the small group discussions in which I participated. The Context: (based on a presentation by Kay Melliship, Executive Director of the Victoria Housing Society) With a…

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SUPPORTING OAK BAY’S HERITAGE IS A GROUP EFFORT

  As Chair of the Oak Bay Heritage Commission, I submit each year an annual report on behalf of all Commission members.  The following is our report for 2017, as well as a poster of upcoming events next week to celebrate Heritage Week in Oak Bay, thanks to Caroline Duncan and the Oak Bay Archives: OAK BAY HERITAGE COMMISSION 2017 ANNUAL REPORT Prepared by Cairine Green, Chair The Oak Bay Heritage Commission had another busy year in 2017 because of…

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“WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER”

Rarely are speakers as inspiring and passionate as they were on October 12, 2016, during a public panel discussion on community wellness, well-being and belonging at the Victoria Conference Centre. Hosted by the Victoria Foundation and its sponsors, along with the City of Victoria, and moderated by Mayor Lisa Helps, it was a distinct privilege to listen to two remarkable thought leaders and panelists, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and CEO of the Aga Kahn Foundation of Canada, Khalil Shariff. Victoria’s…

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The Housing Crunch

Over the past few months, media attention has focused on the loss of older character homes barged from Oak Bay and transplanted to other communities.  The San Juan Community Home Trust is a grateful recipient of these homes, re-purposed by the Trust as affordable housing on San Juan Island, Washington State.  This affordable housing project using reclaimed Oak Bay houses is the twist to the story that first caught my attention and that of local, national and international media; if…

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Oak Bay Homes Going South (click on this title)

The attached link to the British newspaper, the Guardian, and it’s article on Oak Bay housing, resonates across our region. Thanks to reporter,  Ashifa Kassam for her coverage and interest in this blog website and my articles on housing.  You can read the entire Guardian article here: Guardian newspaper article on Oak Bay homes going to Washington State.

Spring Blooms in the Capital Region

As crocuses and daffodils start poking up their heads in many gardens around the Capital Region, some big local, regional and provincial issues are blooming right along with them.  Homelessness, amalgamation, the housing crunch and sewage create a bouquet of challenges for local politicians and communities.  While no one promised elected officials a rose garden in the 2014 municipal election, the challenges facing them are thorny nevertheless. Homelessness is an issue that tests public tolerance and acceptance, despite worthy efforts…

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The Clive Re-Visited

Invited by owner and developer Ms. Nicole Roberts, I had the pleasure of touring the new Clive apartment building and I was not disappointed.  Ms. Roberts was true to her word — the Clive exceeds the first level of LEED standard for a green and energy-efficient building and is an asset to Oak Bay as the first building of its kind in our community.  The Clive also scores another first, the first time in over 40 years that new rental…

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Oak Bay Housing Going South

This week, our local CBC radio show “On the Island,” with host Gregor Craigie, did an interview with a community leader who works for the San Juan Island Housing Trust in Washington State.   The Trust is committed to providing affordable and attainable housing by creating a neighbourhood of recycled homes that come from other communities. Always interested in hearing about new and innovative ideas for accessible housing, my ears really perked up when the guest described three recent additions…

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Seniors’ Advocate Puts Housing First

“Seniors’ Housing:  Affordability, Accessibility, Availability…We Can Do Better” puts the issue squarely at the forefront in this recently released report by B.C.’s Seniors’ Advocate Ms. Isobel Mackenzie.       Stating that she is “building on my commitment to evidence-based decision-making,” Ms. Mackenzie undertook research and gathered data from all over the Province that focused on income levels, rental housing and home ownership for seniors.  Her conclusion was unequivocal when she states “I found that for low and moderate [incomes]…

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