Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Motions to Create Affordable Housing Policy Rejected by Team North Saanich

Team North Saanich consistently defeated motions to create affordable housing policy. Click here for the record of the recorded motions relating to the creation of affordable or 
workforce housing and/or related policy to achieve that goal.  The minutes do not reflect discussions where the issue was raised but no motion made. 
We would like to draw attention to the fact that all motions to create affordable 
housing or policy around it were moved and/or seconded by Finall, McMurphy or Stock.

Team North Saanich incumbents claimed that they did not want to delay any of the one-off housing projects by creating actual housing policy.

In the city of Langford, there is an established Affordable Housing Program which assists the lower income stratum to enter into the housing ownership market.  Had this innovative program been embraced in North Saanich, we would now have had provisions for 19 truly affordable housing units.

By contrast, the intransigence of Team North Saanich, has resulted in the very paltry offering of only three units out of nearly 200, being priced below $400,000, and at that, only by $1.

Here is a description of the Langford program, from their website.  They are currently actively seeking applicants:

The Affordable Housing Program requires developers of new subdivisions within the City of Langford to build one affordable home for every 10 single-family lots subdivided. These affordable homes are then priced at 60% of market value. The City, partnering with CMHC, assists developers by providing free administrative support, density bonuses and streamlined development approvals as incentives. Local realtors provide services free of charge, while credit unions, mortgage brokers and insurers (including CMHC) streamline mortgage pre-approvals.

In 2007, the City of Langford expanded the original policy by requiring new developments to be Building Code-ready for secondary suites, contributing to density and diversity. It also created visibility requirements such as wide doorways and level entrances to accommodate people with disabilities. For every new dwelling, a $500 contribution must be made to the City's Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, which is used to fund a rent subsidy program and the construction of new subsidized units.

Rather than actually assisting to alleviate the so-called affordable housing crunch, Team North Saanich only offered a cynical bait and switch program which led those of lesser means to actually believe that significant steps were being made to assist them.  Actually, the main energy was expended to advance the spot rezoning applications.  The lower income prospects were merely shills trotted out to assure the gullible public that steps were being made on their behalf.

About half of the Canora Mews development is occupied by seniors.

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