Breaking News
Hope for housing on the Sunshine Coast

Hope for housing on the Sunshine Coast

On the heels of the March 1 multi-agency meeting looking to advance the creation of safe and secure housing for residents of the Coast, the Province announced a program to support local governments to improve housing project development approvals.
The $15 million Local Government Development Approvals Program was publicly announced on March 5 by Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne. At an SCRD meeting that day, Chairperson Lori Pratt stated that she and other local government leaders were given some details on the new initiative in a conference call with the Minister. Pratt did not disclose additional information, stating that SCRD staff are reviewing the program details and will be advising the board on the matter in the coming weeks.
In a press release, Osborne said, “The ongoing pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for local governments and has heightened the need to further increase the supply of new, affordable homes for people in their communities. Housing providers, the development sector and local governments all have a role to play in improving current development approvals, and this Development Approvals Program complements what local governments are already doing to get people the right housing for their communities quickly and efficiently.”
The Union of British Columbia Municipalities is administering the program for the Province. It will accept applications until May 7. Approvals are expected 90 days after the intake closes. Projects that will be considered are ones that will help local governments look at best practices and innovative ways to support non-profit housing organizations, developers and other stakeholders to deliver essential and diverse types of housing.
Municipalities and regional districts will be eligible for a project valued at up to $500,000. Projects that exceed that amount may be considered if funding is available. The funding can cover up to the full cost of the project.
Eligible projects could include the creation of digital or online development application processes, workshops to help developers better understand application requirements, or internal reviews aimed at improving local government development application processes.
The 25 organizations that met in Sechelt to discuss the area’s situation related to housing affordability included local governments, service clubs, charities, as well as volunteer and housing-specific interest groups. They issued a cooperative Call to Action on March 1, expressing their “highest concern for the housing crisis afflicting the Sunshine Coast.”
“To address the housing crisis, we call on ourselves and all other local community leaders to:
• Ensure that all actions we take are done through a lens of decolonization, health and well-being, equity and inclusion, racial and social justice, and ecological integrity.
• Empower our communities and use our role as leaders to create opportunities for shared understanding, connection, and community building.
• Facilitate the construction and use of homes to house everyone in our community, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
• Leverage the interconnection of issues and look for opportunities to solve complex challenges that generate multiple benefits and solutions.
• Invest our collective resources and experiences to deliver short and long-term solutions that will have the greatest impact and help us go further, faster together.
• Take meaningful, incremental actions as outlined in the Housing Needs Assessment Implementation Framework before the end of 2021.”
The groups jointly expressed the view that coming together to address the housing crisis will help provide guidance, reassurance and hopeful confidence that meaningful change can be achieved. Connie Jordison

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top