Kamloops and District Labour Council – Monday, June 20, 2022 14:26:47 Asks:

Describe how you will address housing needs and housing that people can afford in your community?

Shelter is one of six strategic focus areas outlined in my platform. The key emphasis of my shelter platform is to grow and diversify the housing stock and to develop policies and initiatives that foster the creation of affordable housing – much of which will benefit the younger generation. I will be focusing on four key actions including:
1) Resourcing and Delivery – Ensure the City’s development services department is fully staffed, new technologies are brought online, and expand upgrading and training opportunities for staff. Ensure that planning and building inspection policies and operating practices are focused on effective, efficient and transparent service delivery.
2) Improve Access to Land: (1) Create an Affordable Housing Task Force to develop recommendations on policy, zoning and regulation changes that accelerate the creation of affordable housing; (2) develop new policies and initiatives for planning and zoning that increase densification and facilitate stratification of lots; (3) undertake a review of current lands within the City to identify potential sites for new affordable housing developments, and (4) work with the provincial government to unlock the land at the Government precinct along Columbia Street to develop a Campus of Care that would accommodate a spectrum of health care services and housing options.
3) Implement Innovative Housing Policy Tools: Use innovative approaches such as the City of Quesnel’s recent acceptance of pre-approval of zoning and building designs for laneway/garden suite buildings. Explore the opportunity to support the creation of a Community Land Trust. Develop new incentives and tools to implement the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy.
4) Establish Performance Metrics & Annual Housing Forum: Develop a dashboard that tracks the diversity of housing being built against specific housing targets. Organize an annual housing forum to discuss innovative affordable housing approaches being used in other communities and have City staff report out on progress in the prior year.

I feel these key actions will help ensure that the housing unit targets outlined in the Kamloops Housing Needs Assessment (2021) are achieved, which project a need for over 1,000 units to be built annually in coming years. Achieving this pace will be critical if we are to ensure affordability in the Kamloops housing market.