Affordable Housing Projects

Project update

At the Committee meeting of October 17, Council reviewed public input from the June Open House and tentatively selected two sites for Affordable Housing projects that could be developed by the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society. For a third site at the Old RCMP station, Council asked Habitat for Humanity Sunshine Coast to provide more information.

Council discussed the importance of considering neighbourhood concerns while at the same time pursuing housing projects that may help address the urgent need for Affordable Housing in our community. An extensive consultation process is planned to ensure neighbouring residents and interested community members can provide input into the site designs.


Timing Portion of Charman Creek Lands (40 units) Franklin Road (2 units) and other road ends Old RCMP at 749 School Rd (Units TBD)
November 7, Council Confirm site;
Confirm three step consultation process
Confirm site for pilot;
Request design from Society;
Staff proposal road closure for 4 sites
Request information from Habitat
Timing of next steps to be determined. Consultation process
  1. World Café
  2. Design Charette
  3. Open House
Open House Open House
TBD Council direction Council direction Council direction
TBD Agreement Town - Society Agreement Town - Society Agreement Town - Habitat
TBD Grant application to senior governments Local fund raising Grant application to senior governments
TBD Zoning Bylaw changes Zoning Bylaw changes Zoning Bylaw changes
TBD Development Permit Development Permit Development Permit
TBD Building Permit Building Permit Building Permit


Background
For the past decade, housing on the Sunshine Coast has become increasingly expensive. This trend has accelerated over the past two years, spurring an urgent need for added affordable housing options. “Collaborating on housing initiatives” is therefore a key goal in Council’s current Strategic Plan. In the recent past the Town already took action by legalizing Secondary Suites and by introducing the Garden Suite program.
 
Currently, the Town, Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society are working together to investigate Town-owned sites which may be used for affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity has also been involved, specifically for the Old RCMP site. Below, each project is described in more detail. At the end of this page you can find relevant staff reports for these projects.

Charman Creek Lands selection
Over the past 2 years the Town has worked with the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society (SCAHS) and identified possible sites for an affordable housing project of up to 40 residential units. A 3-acre portion of the Charman Creek Lands has now tentatively been selected for this project.

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 this could fund this project for Gibsons.


 

 

In June, initial concept plans were presented at a Public Open House for two Town owned sites. Also, a feasibility study investigated the cost and viability of a possible affordable housing project on either site. One of the two sites at 571 Shaw Road next to the Christenson Village seniors care home, has recently been sold for the development of a new seniors care home. The other site is located at the end of Shaw Road and Eaglecrest Drive where a portion of the Charman Creek lands is proposed to be used for the affordable housing project.

The feasibility analysis shows the total cost of the project to be around $ 9,000,000. With senior government funding this could result in the creation of 40 rental apartments consisting of a mix of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.  The site would offer a mix of market rents ($ 1,300 - $ 1,850) as well as reduced monthly rents ($ 1,100 to $ 1,500 and $ 900 to $ 1,138) with rent reductions of anywhere between $ 200 up to $ 700 below market levels. This mix of rental options of market and below market apartments would provide affordable housing options to independent seniors or other singles, lone parents, couples, and couples with children. SCAHS would operate and manage the buildings. Click here to view the current site plans.

Old RCMP site (749 School Road)
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. More information can be found in the staff report of October 17.




Franklin Road/Harmony Lane and other road end dedications
In 2016, staff identified a number of undeveloped road dedications in the Lower Gibsons area, which may have potential to become residential lots. They could provide for affordable single family homes, dispersed through existing neighbourhoods. The following sites are shortlisted:
  • Franklin Road/Harmony Lane (pilot project for 2 affordable housing units)
  • Beach Avenue / Glen Road (use to be determined)
  • Bals Lane / Seaview Road (use to be determined)
  • Glassford Road / Gower Point Road (use to be determined)
Town staff began preparations of the road closure process for the sites by commissioning a geotechnical investigation and a surveyor to identify future lot lines. The Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society would like to build two rental units on the proposed property at Harmony Lane/Franklin Road. In addition, Council has indicated an interest to create parcels at three other locations as well. These sites could create revenue if sold, or serve as sites for Affordable Housing.



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.

Types of 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. 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.

2017-10-17 Summary of Council Recommendations
Charman Creek Lands presentation
Charman Creek Lands staff report
Charman Creek Lands feasibility study
Open House Feedback June
Old RCMP site staff report
Franklin Road / Road ends presentation
Franklin Road / Road ends staff report
2017-09-15 Charman Creek Lands site plans (used for feasibility analysis)
2017-06-08 Open House posters
Feedback received
2017-03-07 PIAH Program (Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting)
2017-03-07 Old RCMP Site (Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting)
2016-09-06 SCAHS Affordable Housing Project Update (Regular Council Meeting)
2016-06-07 Affordable Housing Project (Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting)
2016-03-01 Possible Sites - Cluster Housing (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
mthomson@gmail.com