District of Oak Bay and Housing Supply Act Targets

September 26, 2023

Read the District of Oak Bay's letter to the Province


District of Oak Bay and Housing Supply Act Targets

Oak Bay, B.C. -- The Province has released a Housing Target Order for Oak Bay. The District appreciates the release of the target, looks forward to seeing all three levels of government working to address the housing crisis in our region, and will work diligently to see new housing built. 

“Oak Bay is pleased to have the targets released and both excited and committed to building homes the region and our community needs. Under a true partnership, using the principles enshrined in the BC Community Charter on municipal-provincial relations, we look forward to working with the Province to find solutions,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “While municipalities throughout the province face a housing crisis, local expertise and Provincial resources will be required to address the unique pressures, constraints, and opportunities in each area. We were pleased to see potential Local Government financial support announced during Premier Eby’s address at the Union of BC Municipalities convention, as such funding can increase our capacity to respond to the Housing Target Orders and legislative changes expected this fall under the BC Homes for People Plan.”

Over the summer, Ministry staff met with municipal staff of all ten municipalities individually to provide information on the development of draft housing targets. The District of Oak Bay received its draft housing targets on August 15, 2023, and had thirty (30) days to respond by letter to the Honourable Minister Ravi Kahlon.
On September 14, 2023, the District of Oak Bay formally responded to the draft housing targets by way of a letter addressed to the Honourable Minister. The response recognizes the need to take urgent action to address the housing crisis, requiring strong leadership, commitment, collaboration, partnerships, and innovation across all levels of government. The letter further details the local conditions shaping the housing crisis in Oak Bay and makes twelve (12) key related requests of the Province.

With permission of the Province, the District has released the full text of Oak Bay’s letter to Minister Kahlon, available here.

The release of the housing targets into the public realm will now allow the District to communicate with residents and seek public input, following best practices for land use decisions. Throughout the process, the Provincial requirement for confidentiality regarding the targets presented challenges, precluding municipalities from engaging with the public on a significant land-use matter. “Public transparency and input are core principles of both good community planning and democracy. We are happy to have this dialogue enter the public realm,” stated Mayor Murdoch. Municipalities in the first cohort of ten were also constrained in their ability to discuss the process with each other and with non-selected local governments and First Nations. With housing target orders now released, the District looks forward to collaborating with other municipalities to address our common challenges.
Today’s announcement by the BC Ministry of Housing indicates that the Minister’s review of municipal input is complete. District staff will review details of the final Housing Target Order for Oak Bay to determine the extent to which the District’s 12 key requests have been addressed and accommodated. Once staff have had the opportunity to review and consider the Order in detail, including assessing related impacts, Council will convene in an open meeting to determine next steps.

Learn more about housing in Oak Bay.

Matt Williams
Communications Coordinator
Phone: 250-208-6468

In 2020 the District of Oak Bay Housing Needs analysis identified a target of 647 new housing units, which has informed housing policy changes over the last four years. On May 31, 2023, the BC Ministry of Housing announced the first cohort of ten municipalities, including the District of Oak Bay, to receive housing targets under the Housing Supply Act. On Tuesday, September 26, Minister Kahlon announced the District’s 5-year target of 664 units.