Housing Action Program

The Housing Action Program intends to provide actions and measures to address the housing issues unique to Salt Spring Island. Actions proposed in the Project Charter include a number of actions, such as the potential for a major amendment to the Official Community Plan. The proposed Program intends to tackle a range of issues including, but not limited to, the affordability of housing, the types of housing options, and environmental sustainability as it relates to the locations, sizes, and designs of housing development. Issues such as water availability and the moratorium on new connections to the North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD) community water system, storm-water and sewer systems, active transportation infrastructure, innovative site and building design, arts and culture, and the archaeological significance will all be examined in the process. Furthermore, the existing policies within the OCP are outdated and no longer reflect the current housing conditions, as well as infrastructure servicing, transportation system, environmental conditions and other elements that impact the availability, affordability and diverse housing types on the island.

The current objectives within the OCP do not reflect Trust Council’s implementation of the First Nations Engagement Principles Policy, Trust Council’s Reconciliation Declaration, and Trust Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency. The Housing Action Program also proposes to explore amendments to the Land Use Bylaw to better promote affordable housing and sustainable development and potential development of incentives for pilot projects or sustainable site and building designs.

First Nations Engagement

The SSI LTC will seek to engage with First Nations with treaty and territorial interests on Salt Spring Island. Engagement will be reflective of the Trust Council adopted policy on First Nations Engagement Principles, and the foundation documents of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice. The engagement process will be guided by concerns or responses from First Nations on how to proceed in a mutually respectful and relationship building framework. “Dust & Bones” – a documentary on First Nations archeological significance can be found here.

Project Charter

The Project Charter is available here.

Salt Spring Local Trust Committee Initiatives:

Tiny Homes Pilot Project

Public Engagement Framework

The Housing Action Program Public Engagement Framework incorporates the format and essential elements modeled after the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) best practices for public engagement. In addition, the proposed Housing Action Program Engagement Framework intends to comply with statutory requirements outlined in the Local Government Act, the Island Trust Policy Statement on open, consultative public participation.

The Public Engagement Framework is available here.

The Public Engagement Plan is available here.

Public Engagement Activities

  • Monthly Task Force Summaries to the Salt Spring Local Trust Committee
  • Online/mail-in survey
  • Continuous update of this project page
  • Educational material
  • Conversation with a Planner
  • Open houses
  • Other in-person workshops post COVID

We Want to Hear From You!

Please consider adding your views in the following ways:

Conversation with a Planner

You are invited to chat with a planner and ask any questions you may have, share your concerns, and provide comments on the Housing Action Program project. Please review our Project Charter to see relevant topics you might like to discuss.

A planner is available to meet via Zoom every Thursday from 10:00 am – 11:00 am, and 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm throughout the duration of the project. In person meeting will become available later in the year, depending on COVID restrictions.

*Please note that the intent of these meetings is not to answer any specific questions relating to development review or the permitting process. This meeting is specifically set aside for public engagement on the Housing Action Program.

Please reserve a day and time by sending a message to ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca


Initial feedback on housing needs on Salt Spring is found in the Phase I survey results here:

Addressing Housing Needs on Salt Spring Island

Housing Action Program Task Force

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee appointed Maïkan (Forest) Bordeleau, Daniel Wood, Stanley J. Shapiro, Kerrie Proulx, Nejmah Guermoudi, Yvonne Saunders, Jessica Terezakis, Bryce Chapman, Rhonan Heitzmann and Freyja Skye to the Housing Action Program Task Force.

The Housing Action Program Task Force Terms of Reference is available here.

The Housing Action Program Task Force will meet on the first Thursday of every month at 10am. More information about the meetings can be found on the Salt Spring Island Projects page under folder 6. Other Information.

Initiatives of Housing Task Force:

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Land Use Bylaw amendment

Housing Facts and Figures

  • Salt Spring Island is the largest, most populated, and most visited of the Gulf Islands
  • The population grew by 10% between 2006 and 2016
  • The median age in 2016 was 55.4 years
  • There were 4,840 households in 2016, with an average household size of 2.1 persons per household
  • The median income on Salt Spring Island in 2015 was $59,077
  • Salt Spring Island’s Housing Stock is 81% single detached homes
  • 76 percent of households own their home
  • 24 percent of households rent


The list below is not exhaustive

Community Housing Background Report & Recommendations (2005)

Island Trust Community Housing “Tool Kit” (2010)

Senior Housing Strategy (2010)

Affordable Housing Guide (2011)

Community Housing (final report -2016)

Housing Working Group Report (2020)

Baseline Report – Affordable Housing in the Islands Trust Area 2019

Capital Regional District Housing Needs Assessment – Salt Spring Island 2020


To learn more about this work please visit the Salt Spring Island Projects page or contact Louisa Garbo, Island Planner: 250.537.9144, ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca