Jun 20, 2022 at 2:27 pm
City Councillor Mayor

Kamloops and District Labour Council asks:

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

- Kamloops and District Labour Council


Candidate Answers

Daphane Nelson

Candidate for City Councillor

There will be a common thread within my answers; co-operatives have historically helped people through affordability crises and I know they help people in housing as well. A good example of a housing co-operative at work here in Kamloops is the Sahali Housing Co-operative. Their model allows for the purchase of a $2,000 share and then an approximate $1,000 monthly housing cost. The board of this co-operative would decide on any monthly housing cost increases which would only happen if the entire co-operative voted to approve them. These would likely only be necessary if there were some repairs or maintenance beyond the scope of the contingency fund.

I don't have experience in developing housing co-operatives myself, however, there are people in that field who can and do help communities pull these types of investments together. I fully believe that we as a City could be focusing attention on these developments as way to improve affordability of housing in Kamloops.

https://www.chf.bc.ca/living-co-op/

Dale Bass

Candidate for City Councillor

Inclusionary zoning. It was introduced in my hometown in the 1980s and it worked. Whatever you are uulding, a percentage need to be allocated for rent geared to income or multi-family for sale that is below single-family market values. It was particularly effective in market rentals. We also need to become more creative in multi-family. Take a look at Park 17 in Denver -- really crrative modular housing. Argyle Gardens in Portland Oregon is another reative modular design.

We need to do other things. We need to improve the efficiency of the permitting system. We need to study the viability of tax exemptions for missing middle housing. We need to find more cost-effective energy efficiencies.

Darrell LaRiviere

Candidate for City Councillor

I propose to create the Kamloops Housing Corporation (KHC), whose purpose is to build, buy, and maintain affordable housing for Kamloops residents. Waiting for the provincial or federal government to take any action isn't working. The City of Kamloops must start building affordable housing now! Furthermore, as a not-for-profit, city-owned company it would COMPETE against private companies who do not have a vested interest in creating affordable housing.

Katie Neustaeter

Candidate for City Councillor

I believe this to be the most pressing and important question of this election cycle and our community's greatest current need.
There is no one solution to this crisis and we need to take the greatest of all ideas and allow them to work in symphony for the common interest.

Reducing red tape for developers to expedite process and lower risk/cost (ie. 18 months to be approved/rejected is too long), expanding opportunity for multi-family building, stop adding mandatory and subjective costs until units intended to be affordable housing are no longer so, incentivize mixed model housing that parcels out units designated for intended-use purpose (ie. low income or affordable housing set aside in every new build. This will also help address some of the intersecting social issues like supporting those in or seeking recovery), are a few places to begin.

We also need to look to other countries who have experienced this kind of housing crisis and addressed it effectively in the past instead of trying to do what has historically always been done.

And we need to do these things yesterday.

Arjun Singh

Candidate for Mayor

Housing supply and affordability is critically important. I am proposing council host and fund a citizens assembly on housing supply and affordability so we can have a robust community conversation in 2023 on the best measures to take to create more affordable housing supply. City hall has a lot of tools in the toolbox to assist achieve our housing goals: streamline and speed up city processes, better public engagement practices, allowing more density in zoning and planning, among others.

Bonnie Cleland

Candidate for City Councillor

There are many factors influencing the rising cost of housing and we will need multiple strategies to address them. What I will do as Councillor is look throughout BC, Canada and the greater global community for what is working and replicate them here. For example, one of the factors is the increased cost of materials impacting the construction industry. Let’s look to other building methods for sustainable and cost effective structures (rammed earth, 3D printing, earthships, cob, tiny houses etc) and analyze their feasibility for our community.
The zoning, red tape, build code requirements and regulations involved in building safe structures are cumbersome, difficult to navigate for new structures and cause us to do the same old, dame old. With families today being more diverse than the nuclear family, we need more diverse housing options so that everyone can have safe shelter that is within their budget.
Another example I would look into expanding are housing co-ops, which allow for families to come together and share resources and live well within the community. Current wait-lists are over 2 years for this type of housing. Housing co-ops can be designed for multi-generational living, where neighbours are encouraged to live closer together and build up the connection that has been lost in the past two years.

Bill Sarai

Candidate for City Councillor

We as a city need to work with our development community. Along with our large private land owners to increase the amount of buildable land. We then can be creative in giving incentives to builders to address the missing middle and also with that is to increase density in our downtown and allow more 4- 6 plexes to be built on large lots throughout our city where we can change the zoning restrictions.
I am in total support in trying something outside the box as we are in uncharted times. Past zoning is not the answer for todays issues of affordability. We need to address this asap as we will keep losing local talent to other provinces.

Taj Sandur

Candidate for City Councillor

This is my personal priority #1 as I see the problems much more often than other candidates. Not only is my work revolving around the housing sector but I am one of many young people feeling the burdening pressures of simply finding and paying for the basic need of housing, not only to buy but even more so to rent.

The first and immediate solution is to provide more housing. A greater supply of homes will drive down rental prices and alleviate the pressures for everyone renting. There are several steps that we need to take in order to address this:

- Revise the OCP (official community plan) aka KAMPLAN to reflect the needs of today's city, not 2018 pre-pandemic Kamloops that hadn't experienced a boom of housing prices and population.

- Ensure the City of Kamloops Development Services and Engineering Dept has adequate human capital. Right now the department is understaffed severely.

- Expedite permitting times and processes to ensure that new housing starts are able to begin more efficiently.

- Provide pre-zoning for smaller multi-family developments (4-plex, 6-plex or similar) and eventually for smaller apartment buildings (10-20 unit apartments to start but increasing in size) in areas that are prime for redevelopment corridors. This links back to revising the OCP.

- Working with developers in an ever changing industry to ensure that we are ready to adapt as needed.

I have other ideas but these would be the most feasible and immediate changes we could implement for providing relief to the housing crisis.

Sadie Hunter

Candidate for Mayor

Housing is the foundation of a vibrant and prosperous community. I will continue to support innovative projects and approaches including reducing parking minimums in areas close to transit and walkable neighbourhoods. This will make it easier to explore different types of housing and create more housing to reduce the pressure on the rental markets.
I will also continue to work at the Provincial level to advocate for incentives for developments to be accessible and include affordable rental units. I'll also continue to support providing land options for affordable housing to be built and the exploration of different housing models like cooperatives and land trusts.
Other initiatives to implement ASAP include:
- online application portal which includes all required information relevant to a project (OCP, neighbourhood plans, zoning requirements etc)
- pre-zoning certain areas to streamline development application
- having pre-approved plans for different types of housing

Jesse Ritcey

Candidate for City Councillor

To address this challenge we can increase the supply of affordable units by promoting density and in-fill, through planning moves such as pre-zoning areas for greater lot coverage and height along transit supportive corridors. We should ask the province to expand the foreign buyers tax to Kamloops, as a TRU study indicated not having it is creating a 15% premium in prices against jurisdictions with the tax.

We can lower the cost of services, and consequently property taxes, by better containing urban sprawl development on the outskirts of town. We can lower utility costs by embracing progress on the BC Energy Step Code and use of nature based climate solutions like planting more trees to mitigate urban heat effects. Both property taxes and utility costs are to some extent passed on to renters.

We can also make affordability a requirement to qualify for a revitalization tax exemption credit, instead of the current practice of handing them out to developers without accountability.

Leadership on Council matters, to support the implementation of these moves and set the overall policy direction, so electing myself and like minded people on October 15th is another way we can make progress on this issue.

Randy Sunderman

Candidate for City Councillor

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.

Stephen Karpuk

Candidate for City Councillor

I think there are many ways the City of Kamloops and I as a Councilor can affect housing in Kamloops. As housing is largely controlled by cities this is an area we can affect change. BC Affordable Housing plan is fairly clear on what needs to be done. https://housingcentral.ca/

We need efficiencies for builders. Less red tape, more building options, faster permitting processes, more clarity on zoning and more willingness to look at multifamily building is key to this working.

We need to look at housing authorities, like Whistler did and many EU countries do to create Co-op and other housing arrangements. We need to look at increasing supply by encouraging TRU to follow UBC and build more on campus housing supply so that the community units are more available for non-student residents.

We also need to work with retrofitting existing building, which are the vast majority of our cities, so that they are more energy efficient. Rebate and retrofit programs benefit all by reducing energy costs and environmental costs.

Darpan Sharma

Candidate for City Councillor

Infill development and multi-family housing is the only solution that can deal with the rising problem of affordable housing. I recently met with the board of the Canadian home builders association and they need a quick turnaround time for permits, less red tape with zoning and re-zoning, subjective efficiency requirements, etc. We can't keep on saying that we have an affordable housing pandemic and then create problems i.e. Nimbyism.
Permits, zoning, and rezoning can not take more time than the actual construction. It's an economics problem. More demand and less supply will always result in unaffordable housing.

Caroline King

Candidate for City Councillor

It's important moving forward that a new and proactive council would immediately work to reduce red tape along with the current lengthy wait times around zoning and permitting. We should be prioritizing multi-family zoning projects to increase affordability and availability.

Cole Hickson

Candidate for School Trustee 73 - TEA1

As a trustee, I am committed to finding the most optimal uses of school district property for both the success of our students and the community.

One example of this is the SD73 Bus Garage at 710 Mcgill Rd. 

Built before TRU was established and now occupying an increasingly densifying area within a block of an elementary school, university, and major grocery store/pharmacy—I believe we need to explore other options for its placement.

This means finding the best use of that property through a commissioned study in addition to community stakeholder engagement.

Ray Dhaliwal

Candidate for Mayor

Housing is a Problem across the country. We here in Kamloops can Densify our City we can not continue to expand our borders because of the cost to service these lots. In order for housing affordability and attainability we must create more homes on smaller spaces, by rezoning our existing lots and remove some of the barriers that make house expensive to Build.