featuringTown of Gibsons
Affordable Housing Initiatives
The Town of Gibsons is working to address the housing crisis, both by partnering on local development projects with key organizations, such as BC Housing and the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society, and by working to amend policies and bylaws in order to encourage the creation of more affordable housing units.
Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society
They also worked with Rain City Housing on the development of a 40-person supportive housing facility located at 749 School Road (Old RCMP site) that opened in April 2021.
Additionally, Town staff and Council are actively investigating the development of property parcels at three other locations in Lower Gibsons:
- Beach Avenue/Glen Road
- Bals Lane/Seaview Road
- Glassford Road/Gower Point Road
These sites could create revenue for the Town’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund if sold, or serve as sites for future affordable housing projects.
Community Amenity and Affordable Housing Contribution (CAC) Policy
Throughout 2020 and into 2021, the Town has been working with a consultant to update the CAC Policy. To date, work completed includes: a background review on financing growth and the role of CACs, best practices and CACs in comparable communities; a staff/Council workshop; and identification of potential CAC policy options for the Town of Gibsons. Currently, the consultant is completing a pro forma financial analysis of case study sites under multiple land use types and tenures. Upon receipt of the financial analysis, the Town’s CAC policy will be updated and a draft version presented to Council. The draft policy is expected to be received in 2021.
The Town has also employed OCP and zoning amendments to help increase the supply of affordable housing.
In 2015, for example, the Town legalized Secondary Suites and introduced the Garden Suite program.
More recently, the Town has been working to develop a Short Term Rentals policy which strives to balance the needs of homeowners, their neighbours, long-term renters and visitors to the Town of Gibsons.
In 2020, the Town revised the regulations and bylaws related to Secondary Suites. These changes allow for secondary suites in duplexes and townhomes, provided there is a vertical separation from the foundation to the roof separating each living space. The new regulations also permit “lock-off suites” in apartments.
Additionally, Council adopted an an OCP and Zoning amendment in the Poplar Lane/Davis Road neighbourhood which is designed to provide gentle infill density, while maintaining the character of the existing neighbourhood.
Town of Gibsons Affordable Housing
Lesley-Anne Staats, Director of Planning