UBCM – Housing panel

These are some notes I took today during presentations on different housing strategies in BC at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Victoria.

Judy Villeneuve, City of Surrey Councillor
Surrey established a charity foundation to manage and distribute funds collected from developers for affordable housing.

There is funding available from BC Housing for measuring the community’s housing needs and determining options for addressing those needs.

Felice Mazzoni, Ucluelet Planner
In Ucluelet, they’ve incorporated LEED and affordable housing design guidelines into their OCP.

They require that 15-20% of units in a development be affordable, as defined by CMHC. It is achieved through the Development Permit process, not rezoning.

They require an appropriate quantity of staff housing to accompany commercial developments. The occupancy permit is held until the staff housing is ready for occupancy.

Crown land might be used if the city has no land of its own.

The developer doesn’t necessarily have to own the land. They could be allowed to build affordable housing on crown land or donated land as part of their density bonus.

He recommends lowering the base density allowable and then allow bonusing. “Don’t give away your density for free.”

Agreements are set in place that allow locals an opportunity to purchase SFD and condos at a discount before they are available on the open market.

Recommended to take cash. Cash provides options.

“You are the leaders of your communities, so be bold with your policies.”

Housing Management Plan drafted by non-profit with assistance from the City. It specifies targets for sizes and types of housing. The City partners with non-profit societies to manage the housing.

Challenge is how to measure/count private rentals.

Until recently, 25% of the project cost was land. It is now 50%

Lowering parking standards greatly reduces construction costs.

If public land is available, a long-term lease might be an alternate option to selling.

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