VICTORIA - Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says she's excited about a potential plan to combat the city's housing crisis.

She wants to see more so-called "missing middle housing" – like townhomes, duplexes, and houseplexes – built in residential neighbourhoods.

"Not everyone wants to live in a downtown condo, and not everyone can afford to buy a single family home," Helps told CTV News.

A local developer, Luke Mari with Aryze, says there's no doubt townhomes are a cheaper option for buyers.

"The idea of comparative affordability and a townhouse is typically about 40 per cent of a single family home," said Mari.

But, Mayor Helps notes that getting the 'go ahead' to build these missing middle homes is much harder than what's needed to develop a single family home.

"You can just rebuild a single family home without coming to council," said Helps. "If you want to put a duplex or a fourplex on that same lot, there's a whole big process that you have to go through and all you're trying to do is provide more housing for more people."

Mari adds that removing red tape from the process would also have a financial benefit for buyers.

"You know, we can deliver homes more quickly, efficiently which also improves affordability, because one of the barriers to affordability is the process and time," said Mari.

City council is expected to give staff the green light tomorrow to start exploring with the public which neighbourhoods would be best suited for middle housing.

That public engagement is anticipated to last for approximately one year.