Affordable Housing Project

The Town has been working with the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society on the development of affordable rental and / or ownership single family homes. The project is in its early stages with a feasibility study underway. Below you can find more information on this initiative.
 
Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society
The Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society was recently incorporated in response to recommendations from the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Committee. Following several years of discussion and research it was decided that a Society based on a land trust model would be best suited to work with local governments and, not-for-profit housing providers and the development industry to create more affordable housing options on the Sunshine Coast. The Society's Board is particularly interested in affordable housing options (ownership and / or rental) for working families and individuals, as well as independent seniors.   
 
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 have worked together to identify Town owned sites that could be used for affordable housing. Working with the Society on possible sites fits with Official Community Plan goals to support the development of affordable housing. 
 
Sites considered to date
In March staff reported to Council on possible sites for a project with the Society. For example, White Tower Park, Christenson lands and Inglis Trail lands were considered. Also, the idea of using unused road dedications (see attached maps) came up as a way to have a number of single family homes, dispersed through existing neighbourhoods. Council indicated a preference for this last option.
 
Types of housing, design

The Society works with Click Homes who has volunteered to assist in the planning and feasibility analysis of the sites. It is anticipated that Click Homes style houses would be included in the project. In terms of price of the units there is no detailed information available yet. The houses may be offered for sale at a rate protected against market increases or may be rented out at affordable price levels. The focus of the Society is on working families and individuals that do not have other options in the current real estate market.
 
Five proposed sites for further investigation
Based on information from Town staff, 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 Council discussed the sites (see attached maps) requested staff to start the process of further identifying the parcels for a possible road closure and the creation of titles to the lands.  
 
Road closure process under preparation
Before the road end locations can become parcels for housing, a road closure process would need to be followed. As part of this process, public input will be sought in the future as part of the road closure bylaw process. To prepare for the start of this process, a geotechnical assessment has been done for 2 sites and surveying is planned for 4 / 5 sites (see attached maps). You may see the surveyor in your area soon. 
 
Feasibility and business planning underway
It is not certain yet if the Society and the Town will be able to realise the Affordable Housing Project. The current feasibility analysis looks at the sites, site planning, the cost of services to the site, construction cost, possible sale or rent price levels, financing. 
 
Future information meeting once more information becomes available
Once it becomes clear whether the sites are suitable and the project appears viable for the Society, a more specific outline will be prepared for the Affordable Housing Project. At that time, the Society and the Town will organise an Open House to present the results and to seek community input regarding the project. 
 
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
mthomson@gmail.com

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









Figure 1. Locations on Beach, Glen and Seaview roads 



















Figure 2. Locations on Glassford and Franklin roads