Colwood is striving to provide a range of housing choices for people at every age and stage of life.

In 2021 Colwood led the region in new home completions with 350 new units, two thirds of which meet the definition of affordable housing.

New Provincial Housing Legislation 

In late 2023, the Province of British Columbia introduced changes to the Local Government Act with the goal of increasing the speed and supply of new housing across BC.

Municipalities, including the City of Colwood, are required to amend their Bylaws by June 30th, 2024, to allow for increased density on lots currently zoned for single family and duplexes, provided they are connected to water and sewer services and limits the use of public hearings for certain residential projects that are consistent with the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaws.

Note that Colwood zoning already meets these requirements. Provisions that permit both a secondary suite and Accessory Dwelling Unit (i.e., garden suites or carriage homes) within residential zones, mean that none of the City’s residential zones are legally required to be amended for Bill 44 densities. However, the City will explore opportunities to improve existing infill housing policies in the 2024 Official Community Plan Update and Land Use Bylaw Update.

The Provincial Housing Legislation also requires municipalities to designate land near rapid transit stations and major bus exchanges (i.e., Colwood Exchange) as Transit-Oriented Areas, and to permit development in accordance with prescribed minimum densities. The City must allow up to 10 storeys and 3.5 floor area ratio (FAR) within 200 m of the Colwood Bus Exchange; allow up to 6 storeys or 2.5 FAR within 400 m of the Colwood Bus Exchange; and eliminate minimum requirements for residential parking for units within 400 m of the Colwood Exchange area.

Note that in the case of the Colwood Exchange, the City’s Official Community Plan already targets heights and densities equal to or greater than the Province’s requirements. In all cases where residential parking requirements are required to be eliminated or reduced, developers are not precluded from providing parking spaces. The City may still set requirements for the number of accessible and non-residential parking spaces.

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New developments in Colwood contribute to affordable housing

Colwood's Affordable Housing Reserve is a fund that developers contribute to when they build in Colwood. The CIty may then allocate funds from the reserve to support new affordable housing opportunities for people with a wide range of needs.

In 2017 alone, the City of Colwood approved $886,000 from the developer funded Affordable Housing Reserve and waived amenity contributions to offer new affordable housing options through the Greater Victoria Housing Society and Pacifica Housing. The reserve was also used to support new affordable housing at 330 Goldstream Avenue. 

Housing Needs Report

The City of Colwood Housing Needs report is part of a regional approach to addressing housing need in partnership with the Capital Regional District (CRD) and other member municipalities.

BC Government Housing Needs Reports are a way for communities to better understand their current and future housing needs. These reports can help identify existing and projected gaps in housing supply by collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information about local demographics, economics, housing stock, and other factors.

What's included in the Housing Needs Report?

  • The Housing Needs Report outlines the number of housing units required to meet current housing and anticipated housing needs for at least the next 5 years, by housing type. Housing ‘type’ is defined as dwelling size (number of bedrooms)
  • Statements about key areas of local need, including affordable housing, rental housing, special needs housing, seniors housing, family housing and shelters and housing for people at risk of homelessness
  • The number and percentage of households in core housing need and extreme core housing need

Read the Colwood Housing Needs Assessment