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Municipal Land Rezoned to Support Affordable Housing Projects
March 1, 2017
(March 1, North Cowichan, BC) North Cowichan Council has made the bold and proactive decision to rezone two Municipally-owned properties to facilitate the potential development of affordable and supportive housing projects located at 3191 Sherman Road in the South End and 9800 Willow Street in Chemainus.
When Council was elected in 2015, they identified affordable housing as one of their top priorities. Since summer of 2016, Council has been exploring a partnership with the Community Land Trust Foundation of BC (CLTFBC), which would see North Cowichan provide land through a long-term lease, and CLTFBC raise project funding and build and operate the housing developments.
"I am incredibly proud of Council for supporting this innovative partnership that allows us to pursue development of over 80 affordable housing units in North Cowichan," says Mayor Jon Lefebure. "With zoning now in place, the Community Land Trust can proceed to seek federal and provincial grants that would allow us to get these projects off the ground."
While CLTFBC is pursuing grants and private funding, they will be working concurrently with North Cowichan to negotiate a long-term lease for both properties and develop terms for the partnership. The lease agreement will have to be approved by Council, and is expected to address questions such as: who will be eligible to live in the affordable housing units, reporting and accountability between CLTFBC and North Cowichan, how the housing units will be maintained, and other key issues.
Council has been clear in its deliberations that the existing Glen Harper Curling Club located at 3191 Sherman Road will continue to be leased by the Municipality to the Club, and every effort will be made to complement this important recreational facility. This includes maintaining and improving the existing formal parking areas at the Curling Club. Council has also committed to reaching out to Vancouver Island Regional Library to pursue complementary building designs for the affordable housing project at 9800 Willow Street and the new library on the adjacent lot.
More information will be shared with the public as this process moves forward. We also invite everyone to stay up-to-date and join the conversation about affordable housing on PlaceSpeak.
For reference, please see:
- North Cowichan webpage on affordable housing
- December 22, 2016 News Release
- Draft Plans for 9800 Willow Street and 3191 Sherman Road
- Regional Affordable Housing Needs Assessment (CVRD, 2014)
- Community Land Trust Foundation of BC
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.