Housing Strategy

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The Affordable Housing Strategy has been adopted by City Council.   Thank you for your feedback on this project!

In 2020, Abbotsford City Council adopted the Affordable Housing Strategy which guides the City’s investment in and decisions about affordable housing in Abbotsford.

The 2016 update to Abbotsford’s OCP set out a vision for a future city of 200,000 people and identifies key aspirations that underpin the overarching vision statement – which reads as follows: Abbotsford is a city of distinct and increasingly complete nieghbourhoods rich with public life. Our compact urban area is anchored by a thriving City Centre and surrounded by remarkable natural areas and flourishing agricultural lands. We are diverse, inclusive and connected. We are green prosperous and healthy. We are a vibrant and beautiful community.

One of these key aspirations is that the City have more affordable ownership, rental, and supported housing including a variety of housing types for all stages of life, allowing people to stay in their neighbourhoods as they age. This aspirational statement sets the direction for specific actions, policies and measures that the City can take with regards to diverse and affordable housing options.

The Affordable Housing Strategy updates identifies potential actions and tasks that could be undertaken by the City and its partners over the next five years, in order to build on current and emerging funding programs from both provincial and federal governments. With substantive changes in capital funding available both through the Province of British Columbia and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in the last two to three years, a five-year time frame was selected to ensure that Abbotsford remains responsive to potential changes in funding priorities from senior government.

View more details about the Affordable Housing Strategy on our website.

In 2020, Abbotsford City Council adopted the Affordable Housing Strategy which guides the City’s investment in and decisions about affordable housing in Abbotsford.

The 2016 update to Abbotsford’s OCP set out a vision for a future city of 200,000 people and identifies key aspirations that underpin the overarching vision statement – which reads as follows: Abbotsford is a city of distinct and increasingly complete nieghbourhoods rich with public life. Our compact urban area is anchored by a thriving City Centre and surrounded by remarkable natural areas and flourishing agricultural lands. We are diverse, inclusive and connected. We are green prosperous and healthy. We are a vibrant and beautiful community.

One of these key aspirations is that the City have more affordable ownership, rental, and supported housing including a variety of housing types for all stages of life, allowing people to stay in their neighbourhoods as they age. This aspirational statement sets the direction for specific actions, policies and measures that the City can take with regards to diverse and affordable housing options.

The Affordable Housing Strategy updates identifies potential actions and tasks that could be undertaken by the City and its partners over the next five years, in order to build on current and emerging funding programs from both provincial and federal governments. With substantive changes in capital funding available both through the Province of British Columbia and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in the last two to three years, a five-year time frame was selected to ensure that Abbotsford remains responsive to potential changes in funding priorities from senior government.

View more details about the Affordable Housing Strategy on our website.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    What are the plans for low income housing? There are more of "us" low income people than there are people who can actually afford the condos currently being built - despite the move of population out of Vancouver to here?

    Lindylou asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your questions about housing in our community, especially in relation to low income housing.

    As you’ve seen through Let’s Talk Abbotsford, the City is working on an Affordable Housing Strategy. A Draft Report went to Council in January and the Strategy is expected to be completed in the next few months.

    In the Draft Report, you will find that our vision is to have diverse and affordable housing options our residents across all stages of life – ranging from market housing to below market housing. Like you, we absolutely recognize the need for low income housing in our community.

    The Draft Report suggests a number of strategies that we can utilize to develop more non-market housing, social housing and housing with supports. A variety of these strategies include the following:

    ·  Working through regulation and development planning to encourage the development of these units;

    ·  Providing incentives for developers (for example, reducing parking requirements);

    ·  Investing in grants and/or land contributions;

    ·  Partnering with other organizations to develop and operate this housing;

    ·  Advocating to senior levels of government for increased investments in these projects.

    All of these actions will help to ensure that the needs of all of our residents are met. You can review all of the proposed strategies in the Draft Plan for further insight which you can download here: https://letstalkabbotsford.ca/8354/documents/22724

    In response to your question regarding suites, depending on the zoning, the City does allow for a suite in a primary residence. Council also recently approved a new infill policy for 5,600 lots in existing neighbourhoods surrounding the City core. This allows for property owners to replace an older home with a new house or duplex, subdivide a lot into smaller lots with smaller houses, or add an accessory unit like a secondary suite, a garden suite or coach house. This provides for a wider spectrum of housing in our community.

    Regarding your question related to residences and activity on agricultural lands, this is primarily regulated through the provincial Agricultural Land Commission, which has the goal to preserve agricultural land and ensure it is being used for agricultural purposes. However, if you do have further questions, please contact Ryan Perry, one of our City’s planners, at rperry@abbotsford.ca, and he will be able to answer your questions.

    Thank you for your questions. I hope this provided you with the information you needed!


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    Re the height cap for infill housing. - What is the logic behind allowing 5 floors and higher when building multifamily units, but capping infill housing? I understand the need for low income housing, and rental housing, but am confused. Council recently approved the construction of a very large, 5 floor rental property on Emerson, which is smack in the middle of this new height capped infill housing area. Doesn't that go against the concept behind the height cap? I agree with limiting building height, but believe that it should be applied to all new construction. We don't want to turn into a high rise bedroom community do we?

    Emma Frost asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for your comments. Generally, the City of Abbotsford is planned with the highest densities and tallest buildings supported in the urban core, where people can live within walking distance of jobs, services, public transit, etc. The 5-storey building proposed on Emerson Street is in close proximity to the urban core and is located within a land use category in the Official Community Plan called “Midrise”, which supports building heights up to six storeys.  The Infill Study pertains to a different land use category. The proposed changes in the Infill Study are reducing  the height of new houses in the Infill neighbourhoods by 1m, from 9.5m max to 8.5m max. The intent of this height reduction is to try to make new houses in these areas fit better with the existing older houses.  There is more information about the Infill Study here: letstalkabbotsford.ca/infill. Hope this clarifies what’s happening with building heights. If not, you can always talk to a City Planner at 604-864-5510.

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    I would like to know why all the affordable rancher style homes are all being replaced by monster homes, leaving anyone who wants to buy a detached single family house out of their reach. All we see is gigantic houses being built and when they go on the market they are over a million dollars which is way out of the average families reach??

    Ms Dey asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your inquiry.  The City is currently working on a study which addresses the height and massing of new houses, as well as to support a range of viable housing alternatives, including duplexes, smaller houses on subdivided lots, and accessary units. 

    The study is nearing completion and Council just gave 1st and 2nd readings to a set of Bylaws this past Monday, May 27. A public hearing is scheduled for June 24, 2019. More information is available on the project web page: www.abbotsford.ca/urban3infill (look under Stage 3 at the bottom of the page).  Hope this helps provide some further information for you!


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    Does this project work with shelter providers who accept clients with dogs/cats ? A furry friend can sometimes be a homeless person's only companion. Pets are also important "mood stabalizers" for seniors who may be partnerless or people who are in recovery.

    Abby Resident asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for posting your question. The Housing Strategy looks at a variety of options for the City to consider in promoting housing options across our community. 

    Your question, I believe is focused on homeless individuals looking for shelter options. In that regard, the Salvation Army shelter provides accommodations for pets with access to pet food and veterinarian clinic services. Additionally, the Look Out Shelter on Riverside also supports individuals to access its shelter with small pets.

    During the extreme weather shelter season, triage services are provided by Salvation Army to support individuals to access shelter sites that match their needs as close as possible, including individuals with pets.

    Thanks for contacting the City of Abbotsford.

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    What is the average wait time for a building permit for a multi family development in Abbotsford?

    Andy asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for your inquiry about multi family building permits. 

    All our building permit wait times along with some Frequently Asked Questions about building permits are available online at  https://www.abbotsford.ca/business_and_development/building_permits/building_permit_FAQs.htm.  

    Based on our building permit wait time web page, the average wait time right now is 7.5 weeks for multi-family.

    If you have further questions about building permits, please contact us at 604-864-5525 or email building-info@abbotsford.ca.