Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Nestled near the Elders Centre in the Tl’etinqox Community, six cabin-like homes are placed to form a circle to represent the four sacred directions, the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of life and more, and to encourage community gathering.

Tl’etinqox began to develop Elders Cabins in 2019 to honour the intentions, prayers, and needs of their Elders by providing safe and affordable living spaces for them to age in place, at the heart of the community. Elder tenancy applications opened for the cabins in September 2020.

Key insights:

The United States foreign-born population has quadrupled since the 1960s. In 2021, one in seven US households were headed by a foreign-born resident. Around half of these foreign-born residents have naturalized as citizens. Foreign-born residents comprise a growing share of the United States housing market: research projects that foreign-born households will become the primary source of new housing demand by 2040.

This literature review synthesizes previous research on the key barriers to and strengths of immigrants in becoming homeowners.

This report was authored by Sharon Cornelissen and Livesey Pack.

Key insights:

In the heart of Gitksan Nation’s expansive 33,000 square kilometres in northwest British Columbia lies Anspayaxw, a community committed to its people.

In 2021, Anspayaxw initiated a Rapid Housing Initiative, addressing the critical need for safe and affordable housing for band members, including families and Elders.

As this Small Housing Stories of Practice report outlines, the community’s dedication materialized in the construction of four groundbreaking sixplexes on Soapberry Drive. These 24 new rental units, built between 2022 and 2023, mark a decade since the last multiplex project on Reserve Land. Notably, the development prioritizes accessibility, offering homes tailored to the diverse needs of community members.

Key insights:

Deep in the heart of the Central Interior-Fraser Canyon region, Xaxli’p, an integral part of the St’at’imc Interior Salish Nation, embraces its ancestral land along the Fraser Canyon and southern Coast Mountains. Rooted in the profound connection between the people and their territory, Xaxli’p embarked on a transformative journey in 2019 with the development of a Land Use Plan.

As this Small Housing Stories of Practice report outlines, the community recognized the increasingly pressing housing shortage, and responded by launching the Rapid Housing Initiative in 2021. In February 2022, the completion of a family-based fiveplex marked a significant milestone, providing safe, affordable, and culturally connected housing for Xaxli’pmec families in need.

As Xaxli’p First Nation looks to the future, two additional multiplexes are poised to further enhance the community’s capacity to thrive in harmony with their ancestral land.

Key insights:

Nuutsumuut Lelum is located on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, BC.

The Island Urban Indigenous Wellness Society (formerly Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre) is a not-for-profit organization with a focus on early childhood development, prevention, collaboration, and Culture. They acknowledge the critical importance of supporting Indigenous communities with healthy development in the early years.

Led by the Island Urban Indigenous Wellness Society, Nuutsumuut Lelum is a 25-unit affordable housing project emerged from a two-year collaboration with government agencies and community organizations.

As this Small Housing Stories of Practice report outlines, beyond providing safe and culturally appropriate housing for Urban Indigenous Youth, Elders, and families, Nuutsumuut Lelum embodies a commitment to environmental, social, and cultural sustainability. Built to the rigorous Passive House standard, it harmonizes energy efficiency with Indigenous values, creating dignified homes where community members thrive.

Explore the transformative journey from concept to reality as Nuutsumuut Lelum continues to foster unity and celebration since its inauguration in June 2018.

Key insights:

LíÌwat Nation’s vision for a strong and united community is embodied in their Housing Plan (2018-2033). Focused on preserving rights, language, culture, and traditions, the plan aims to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing. Identifying a need for 170 new units by 2033, the Nation has consistently built 10 to 12 houses annually, prioritizing multiplexes like duplexes and rowhouses.

As this Small Housing Stories of Practice report documents, beyond construction, LíÌwat Nation actively supports citizens in accessing financing for home renovations and purchases, fostering a thriving community where residents can fish, hunt, gather, create, grow, work, and live together harmoniously.

Explore the narrative of this impactful housing initiative, from its inception to tangible outcomes and future aspirations.

This report aims to rapidly develop and scale solutions to address some of the main land use policy, project financing and design challenges faced in delivering affordable missing middle housing.

Key recommendations:

  • Reforming zoning bylaws to allow as-of-right development of Missing Middle housing,
  • Reforming current public consultation processes
  • Creating incentive programs and seed funding (via CMHC) for the development of missing middle housing
  • Establishing missing-middle specific building standards and development fees
  • Creating a set of missing middle typologies that can over time allow for replicable approval, design, finance, and construction phases.

A pilot project has been identified in Little Jamaica (Toronto) to test out the proposed affordability framework and housing financial models advanced in this report.

Additionally, a National Scalability roadmap has been created to continue to progress the work of the Missing Middle Lab, through maintaining partnerships, bolstering municipal support, and developing design catalogues and financial incentives.

This report was authored by CMHC & Keesmaat Group.

Opening Doors is the final report from the B.C. – Canada Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability. The group was established in 2019 to identify actionable recommendations to increase housing supply and improve affordability in B.C.

Key insights:

The report features 23 policy recommendations that can be categorised under 5 broad calls to action, including:

  • Creating a planning framework that proactively encourages housing
  • Reforming fees on property development
  • Expanding the supply of community and affordable housing
  • Improving coordination among and within all orders of government
  • Ensuring more equitable treatment of renters and homeowners.

More granular policy recommendations are detailed in the report also, including:

  • Streamlining approvals processes
  • Increasing transparency on development charges
  • Extending tax advantages to renter households
  • Phasing out some subsidies offered to homeowners

This report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, part of UC Berkeley, highlights barriers faced by developers working in states that have enabled multiple units to be built on traditionally single-family zoned lots.

Key insights:

The report details that Middle Housing delivers many benefits to communities:

  • Increases racial equity in housing and neighbourhood access
  • Providesentry-level homeownership opportunities
  • Creates lower greenhouse gas emissions per household).

The following developer challenges are highlighted:

  • Design requirements need to be flexible/supportive of missing middle housing;
  • Larger projects of 8-12 units need to be permitted to make projects financially viable; that complicated utility and subdivision rules deter small-scale development;
  • Approval timelines need to be more efficient; and that there is currently a lack of traditional financing tools to create a funding package for projects.

Key recommendations:

  • Introducing development code changes beyond zoning reforms, including updating design requirements and assessing current impact fees and utility requirements
  • Allocate dedicated resources to streamline permitting and approval processes
  • Considering more ambitious land use changes, such as increasing the maximum units that can be developed per lot, to help foster increased missing middle housing development.

The BC Government’s dedicated web page aimed at providing information to prospective homeowners interested in building and managing a secondary suite or ADU property.

Key insights:

  • This page has information for homeowners interested in building and managing a secondary suite or ADU, including a guide and information about the new BC Housing secondary suite incentive program (accepting applications April 2024).
  • It provides FAQs & responses on secondary suite and an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) are
  • Articulates some of their benefits to homeowners (e.g., to provide multi-generational living opportunities and provide additional household income).

Further to this, the page links to Home Suite Home, a guide created by the province which details:

  • Local zoning and building code requirements
  • Guides homeowners through how to obtain a building permit, notes the rights and responsibilities of becoming a landlord, and provides information on where to find and hire professionals to develop a secondary suite.

Additionally, information is provided on the new Secondary Suite Incentive Program, which will give conditional financing to eligible homeowners to construct affordable attached or detached rental units.