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Council Moves Forward with Affordable Housing Initiatives
December 22, 2016
(December 22, North Cowichan, BC) North Cowichan Council, in partnership with the Community Land Trust Foundation of BC, has taken a step forward on two innovative, affordable housing initiatives for the community.
In July 2016, Council agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Community Land Trust Foundation of BC (CLTFBC) to explore non-market affordable housing options at two Municipally-owned properties9800 Willow Street in Chemainus, and 3191 Sherman Road in the South End.
On December 7, Council received an update on a feasibility analysis prepared by the CLTFBC. On Willow Street, next door to the new library branch site planned for Chemainus, a multi-storey apartment building is anticipated to provide approximately 18 units of affordable housing for seniors. Council also requested that the identified 1885-2170 ft2 currently allocated as retail space on the ground floor be reallocated as community space. In conjunction with the proposed project, the Municipality is planning to upgrade the laneway parking lot in 2018 to add more parking.
At 3191 Sherman Road, 64 affordable housing units are anticipated, with 36 units to be located in a 4-storey building facing Sherman Road, and 28 townhouse units with green space to be located at the rear of the lot behind the existing Glen Harper Curling Rink. In support of Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, 12 of the 36 units facing Sherman Road will be designated as supportive transitional housing.
Together, these projects will create a range of housing types, from studio to three-bedroom options. While rental prices are subject to refinement, monthly affordable rental costs for the units are estimated to range from $375 for supportive transitional housing to $1,100 for 3 or 4 bedroom units.
"Council is very excited about the draft proposal brought forward by the Community Land Trust Foundation," says Mayor Jon Lefebure. "Not only is this a strong step forward in meeting one of our strategic objectives, but more importantly, these projects contribute significantly towards filling the need for affordable housing in our community."
Speaking on behalf of the CLTFBC, Tiffany Duzita stated, "It's been exciting to work with North Cowichan on this project. By making this long-term commitment in the community, both organizations can play a key role in ensuring that the community's residents will have access to affordable housing options well into the future. The CLTFBC is pleased to be able to be partnering with North Cowichan in this initiative."
Under this cooperative model, the Municipality will lease these properties to the CLTFBC at nominal costs, and CLTFBC will assume the financing and construction costs of the developments. Through a long-term lease, the CLTFBC will own and maintain the buildings on each site.
Consultations with key stakeholders are already underway and as the process unfolds, public information meetings will be held to share information and details, and to seek input on the proposed plans.
For reference, please see:
- Draft Plans for 9800 Willow Street and 3191 Sherman Road
- Regional Affordable Housing Needs Assessment (CVRD, 2014)
- Community Land Trust Foundation of BC
- Cowichan Women Against Violence Society
The CLTFBC is a non-profit society that acquires, creates, and preserves affordable housing for future generations with a focus on development and redevelopment of co-operative and non-profit housing.
Tiffany Duzita, Director
Community Land Trust Foundation of BC
Dave Devana, Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of North Cowichan