Mayor Mary-Ann Booth says the district aims to expand, significantly, the diversity and supply of housing that is also affordable.
Below is what Mayor Booth wrote about housing in her 2020 Mayor’s Year in Review.
Our goal is to “Significantly expand the diversity and supply of housing, including housing that is more affordable.”
Because we are losing the people we need in our community—seniors are struggling to stay due to a lack of accessible housing; workers are commuting here from farther and farther away; and young families with children can’t afford to come back to the community they grew up in.
What have we done to respond? We advanced the project at 2195 Gordon Avenue and rezoned this District-owned site to allow a combination of strata units, secured below-market rental housing and an Adult Day Centre.
It will provide more affordable rental housing for our professional workforce, families, and seniors, while also recouping our initial investment.
And no matter how you look at it, this property, which was purchased by the District for $16 million from the proceeds of the Grosvenor sale, now has an estimated value of over four times that. The Request for Proposals to the development community will go out this month.
We also added 95 secured rental units to the Gateway Residences at Park Royal, and 35 units to 303 Marine Drive (the former Earl’s site). And we put over $10 million in cash into the bank in the form of Community Amenity Contributions, all while adding thousands of dollars to our property tax roll.
Because of its significant social benefits, Council unanimously advanced, ahead of the Taylor Way Local Area Plan, a development proposal from Baptist Housing to invest more than $500 million, including public funding and financing, to replace the aging Inglewood Care Centre.
The plan will not displace any residents and will add assisted living, below-market seniors’ rental housing, workforce housing and, potentially, child care.
Covid has shone a bright light on the deficiencies of many long-term care facilities where residents too often must share rooms, which allowed the virus to spread unabated.
In December, we received the recommendations of the Neighbourhood Character Working Group.
The value and protection of neighbourhood character has been discussed for decades, and this Council now has a citizen-led vision that will support new bylaws and guidelines to manage the scale and fit of all new houses, while enabling more coach houses and the creation of smaller lots in our residential neighbourhoods.
In late 2020, we conducted the first engagement survey for the Upper Lands and Cypress Village neighbourhoods, and Council is looking forward to hearing the results of residents’ input regarding the trade-offs between the number of housing units and protecting Eagleridge Bluffs.
The District’s Housing Needs Report, which has been completed ahead of the Provincial deadline and of many other municipalities, largely confirms our housing needs and policy directions as set out in our Official Community Plan (OCP). Under the OCP and the Metro Regional Growth Strategy, we’ve been working towards a goal of roughly 250 new units per year, of which 50 should be rental. We have not met that goal in actual construction for a number of years.