North Cowichan Council Explores Affordable Housing Initiatives

Progress is being made on one of North Cowichan Council's key priorities.

At its July 20, 2016 Regular Council meeting, Council voted to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Community Land Trust Foundation of BC to explore non-market affordable housing options at two Municipally-owned properties:

  • 9800 Willow Street in Chemainus, which is envisioned for a mixed-use building to complement the future new Vancouver Island Regional Library building that is planned for the adjacent lot. The project at 9800 Willow Street is anticipated to include approximately 5,000 square feet of commercial/office/community space on the first floor and non-market affordable housing on the upper floors; and
  • 3191 Sherman Road in South End, of which approximately 1.2 acres is envisioned for non-market affordable housing and another 0.5 acres is being considered for partnership with the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society for second-stage supportive housing.

The Community Land Trust Foundation of BC is a non-profit society serving as the real estate development arm of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC.  Its mission is to acquire, create, and preserve affordable housing for future generations with a focus on development and redevelopment of co-operative and non-profit housing. The first step under a Memorandum of Understanding will be for the Land Trust to conduct a feasibility study of these two properties to determine general form and character of the housing, number of units, and level of affordability based on sound financial practices and funding models available.

"Council is pleased to enter into this partnership with the Community Land Trust Foundation," says Mayor Jon Lefebure. "We know that affordable housing is a pressing issue in our communities, and we feel that a great way to make progress is through creativity and collaboration."

"We commend Council and Staff on their proactive and innovative approach to create affordable housing opportunities in their community," says Tiffany Duzita, Director of Development with the Community Land Trust Foundation of BC.  "This just shows that affordability is a concern throughout the province, and we are pleased to be part of a solution in North Cowichan."

A 2014 Regional Affordable Housing Needs Assessment conducted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District found that the region lacks affordable housing options for youth, students, low-income families, seniors, and vulnerable groups. In North Cowichan specifically, those with the least choice in the housing market are low-income singles and families, and especially single parents.

For reference, please see:

Stay tuned for updates on this exciting collaboration!

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For more information, please contact:

Jon Lefebure, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
t. 250.746.3100
e. mayor@northcowichan.ca            

Dave Devana, Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of North Cowichan
t. 250.746.3100
e. dave.devana@northcowichan.ca

Tiffany Duzita, Director of Development
Community Land Trust Foundation of BC
t. 604.343.2366
e. tduzita@cltrust.ca