Affordable Housing

Overview

Currently, three Affordable Housing projects have been initiated in the Town of Gibsons: 571 Shaw Road744 Franklin Road and 749 School Road  (Old RCMP site). Please refer to each project’s dedicated web page to learn about its history and current status.

Are you just joining the Affordable Housing conversation? It may be helpful to read this first: Frequently Asked Questions November 2019

Over the last decade, housing on the Sunshine Coast has become increasingly expensive. This trend has accelerated over the past few years, spurring an urgent need for added affordable housing options. In the recent past, the Town took action by legalizing Secondary Suites and introducing the Garden Suite program.

More recently, the Town also began developing a Short Term Rentals policy, which strives to balance the needs of homeowners, their neighbours, long-term renters and visitors to the Town of Gibsons.

Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (PIAH)

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 and it is hoped that funds from the program could help support the creation of affordable housing in Gibsons. Moreover, the NDP government has set out a goal of building 114,000 housing units in the next 10 years. The current availability of this dedicated provincial funding provides a strong impetus to move forward with local Affordable Housing projects in a timely manner.

03-07-2017: Report: Possible Sites for PIAH Funding

Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society

The Town of Gibsons is partnering with the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society (SCAHS) on the Shaw Road project and the Franklin Road project.

Incorporated in October 2015, the SCAHS is a group of local residents with experience and interest in housing. It 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. Forming positive partnerships – with tenants, the local building industry, municipal governments and others who recognize the importance of affordable, decent housing – is a key tenet of the SCAHS.

On October 1, 2019, Gibsons Council voted unanimously to offer the SCAHS $30,000 in 2019 and $50,000 in 2020 so that the society may hire an Executive Director and a Project Manager. The money will come from the Town’s affordable housing reserve fund, which had a balance of $478,000 prior to the SCAHS’s request. Read the related staff report here.

“Workforce Rental” Housing

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

Staff Reports

09-06-2016: SCAHS Affordable Housing Project Update
10-17-2017: Summary of Council Recommendations

For further information or to provide comments on Affordable Housing in Gibsons, please contact:

Lesley-Anne Staats, Director of Planning
Town of Gibsons
lstaats@gibsons.ca
604-886-2274

Matt Thomson
Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society
mthomson@gmail.com