No. Victoria’s Missing Middle Housing Initiative will not promote or improve accessibility in the built environment.

The City of Victoria’s Missing Middle Housing Initiative Information states:

Missing Middle regulations would require a minimum of one adaptable dwelling unit per lot.

Note the wording – adaptABLE. This does not mean the dwelling has been adapted for accessibility. This is virtue signalling on the part of the City.

Missing Middle housing also creates an opportunity to remove barriers to accessibility. Much of the housing in Traditional Residential areas requires steps to the front door, making it challenging for people with diverse abilities. By allowing three-storey townhouses and houseplexes the first floor can be built at grade, meaning that new housing can include at least one adaptable unit on the first floor. 

Simply having access to a single unit on the first floor does not remove barriers to overall accessibility for a 6-unit houseplex or a 12-unit townhouse complex. Consideration must be given to parking and access to the front as well as other aspects of the design and construction.

The city states “These adaptable units can have many accessibility features designed, allowing them to be upgraded to be fully accessible with minimal modifications if an occupant needs them.” In other words, individual units would still require additional modifications and investment to be “accessible.”

The video below discusses  accessibility in the built environment and highlights the fact that “accessibility” is not just about the individual home, but also  the environment, homes and property around it.

Here’s a video on what an accessible home might look like.

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