Housing in Gibsons

On June 8, the Town and Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society held an Open House to provide information on the housing needs in Gibsons and a proposed housing project in Upper Gibsons.
Two properties that have been identified as possible sites for affordable housing include the Charman Creek / Inglis Trail lands (in which a portion of the land could be designated to the Affordable Housing Project), and the lands at 571 Shaw Road.
At this time, the Town and Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society are exploring options and concepts to see which site would be the most appropriate, as only one of these sites would be used. The Town and Society have worked with a local architect to see what a project could look like.
Click here to view the poster boards from the Open House, which include the proposed housing concept.
Click here to view and print the feedback form. We ask that all comments be submitted to the Town by June 30, 2017. Hard copies of the feedback form are available at the front counter of Town Hall.
The Town has been working with the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society on the development of affordable rental and / or ownership single family homes. Below you can find more information on this initiative.
Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society
The Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society was incorporated in October 2015, in response to recommendations from the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Committee. The Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society is a group of local residents with experience and interest in housing.

The Society aims to develop new housing units, and act as a Community Land Trust, leveraging its assets to develop new housing, and working with tenants as equity partners to build wealth. Partnership – with tenants, the local building industry, municipal governments and others who recognize the importance of affordable, decent housing.

Affordable Housing Project with the Town of Gibsons
The Town of Gibsons has been pursuing policies and bylaw changes to support affordable housing, for example by legalizing secondary suites and by introducing a garden suite program. The Society and the Town are currently working together to identify Town owned sites which may be used for affordable housing.

Types of housing
The focus of the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society is on working families and individuals that do not have other options in the current real estate market. The Society’s main priority is often termed ‘workforce rental,’ and is intended to serve households that cannot afford market rental rates without paying more than 30% of their income toward housing costs, but earn too much to receive any form of government subsidy or support.

Sites being considered in the Town of Gibsons
There are several sites that the Town and SCAHS have been looking into, these include:

  • Using unused road dedications as a way to have a number of single family homes, dispersed through existing neighbourhood
  • Christenson Lands at 571 Shaw Road
  • A portion of the Inglis Trail/Charman Creek lands
  • The old RCMP property located at 749 School Road, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity

Unused Road Dedication sites
Five locations were identified where road dedications are largely unused, and where it would be possible to create parcels big enough for a single family home. In June 2016 Council discussed the sites and requested staff to start the process of further identifying the parcels for a possible road closure and the creation of titles to the lands.  The potential lots have been surveyed and a geotechnical study is currently being finalized. The results of these studies will be presented to Council later in 2017.
Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (PIAH) program
In 2015, the Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (PIAH) program was announced. This is a commitment of $355 million to create more than 2000 affordable rental housing units in B.C. The investment will be distributed over five years. 15 projects have been approved in B.C. under the scheme — contributing 493 units .

With upcoming rounds in the PIAH program, the Town and the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society have been exploring a tentative partnership by looking at various Town owned sites to see if a larger Affordable Housing Project could be funded through the PIAH program in the Town.

The two sites, which the Town and Society have been looking at include the Charman Creek Lands, in which a portion of the land would be designated to the Affordable Housing Project, or the lands at 571 Shaw Road.

Old RCMP site
The Town and Habitat for Humanity are working together to prepare an application under the Surplus Real Property for Homelessness Initiative from the Government of Canada to secure the old RCMP site at 749 School Road with the goal of creating affordable housing options

Staff Reports - Affordable Housing:
2016-03-01 Possible Sites - Cluster Housing Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting
2016-06-07 Affordable Housing Project Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting
2016-09-06  SCAHS Affordable Housing Project Update Regular Council Meeting
2017-03-07 PIAH Program Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting
2017-03-07 Old RCMP Site Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting

If you would like further information or if you like to provide comments please feel free to contact us. 
Andre Boel, Director of Planning
aboel@gibsons.ca 604-886-2274
Matt Thomson, Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society