On May 4, Town Council adopted in principle a Housing Needs Report for the Town of Golden and an Affordable Housing Strategy. The Needs Report identifies the populations most in need of housing, housing gaps and other housing issues in the community; while the Housing Strategy identifies a series of actions and tools that can be implemented to address these needs and to influence change. Both documents are now available online at golden.ca/housing.
“Affordable housing is complex and requires a variety of strategies and partners in the government, social service and private sectors working together towards a common vision,” said Phil Armstrong, Manager of Development Services with the Town of Golden. “We’ve been working closely with the Coop and CitySpaces to help make this happen and I think what we now have is a practical plan to move forward.”
The Town of Golden partnered with the Golden Community Coop to hire CitySpaces Consulting to develop the Housing Needs Report and Affordable Housing Strategy for Golden and Area A. The process involved engagement with the community, non-profit partners, local businesses and developers through key informant interviews, an open house and focus groups.
“Affordable housing is vital to community well-being, and funding opportunities are a competitive process,” explained Jill Dewtie, Executive Director with Golden Community Coop. “Having the Housing Needs Report and the Affordable Housing Strategy will help us better position ourselves for future funding and demonstrate the need we knew existed, but couldn’t prove.”
The Housing Strategy identifies 16 strategies that the Town and Coop can consider towards addressing local housing gaps to pursue meeting the community’s housing needs. Town staff and the Coop have committed to start work on the following strategies in 2021:
Town of Golden:
- #4. Utilize municipal owned land for affordable housing projects: Town staff is currently engaging a consultant to complete environmental analysis on the Old Town Works Yard and then will seek granting opportunities via Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support future residential development with an affordable housing component.
- #16. Educate and enforce short term rentals: in 2021 staff will be implementing the new short term rental regulations and educating the community.
- #6. Refine and promote the detached secondary residential dwelling housing form: Staff will refine and promote the carriage house and garden suites housing form for development.
Golden Community Coop:
- #1. Alleviate capacity constraints of the local non-profit housing sector: the Coop will continue to build relationships with local non-profit housing providers and establish a non-profit housing entity tasked with overseeing the development of more affordable housing.
- #3. Seek capital funding for affordable housing projects as opportunities arise: securing funding sources for affordable housing projects will be a priority for the Coop now that the strategy has been completed.
- #15. Consider establishing a living wage policy: the Coop intends to update the Living Wage Calculation for Golden in 2021.
The public are invited to attend a public presentation of the Housing Needs Assessment and Affordable Housing Strategy on Wednesday, May 12 at 6 p.m. via Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/92470790191
Funding for the Housing Needs Report and Affordable Housing Strategy was provided through a provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs grant administered by the Union of BC Municipalities to the Town, and another grant provided through the Provincial Rural Dividend program administered by the Coop.
For more information, visit golden.ca/housing.