Without action on housing we will lose everything we have today.
Housing is my number one priority. We need to take serious action soon to protect the way of life we all enjoy today.
We need to invest in dedicated resources to ensure that we are at the front of the line for grant and private solutions to our housing crisis. I propose that the District of Sechelt hires a housing specialist for a two-year pilot project. They will be a dedicated person on staff who can investigate and lead the effort to address some of our housing issues on behalf of the District of Sechelt.
There are going to be many ideas proposed to solve our housing crisis, but the reality is that the District of Sechelt doesn't have the capacity to investigate and implement these potential solutions properly. It's not a job that staff, council, or an independent not for profit should be doing off the side of their desk. It is so important that we need someone dedicated to learning and expanding our understanding of the housing issue in Sechelt.
I have heard a lot about grants from the provincial and federal governments. A housing specialist could apply to these grants on behalf of the District of Sechelt. We need to ensure that Sechelt is at the front of the line for these grants, and only an experienced, qualified, in-house grant writer could provide this.
The housing specialist could also develop business cases for shared partnerships between the municipality and private investors and not for profits. I firmly believe in the power of community-led collaboration, and this position would support any initiatives that come forward. They would support the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society where possible.
Finally, the housing specialist could help draft policy that would reduce some of the stress on the housing market we see today. With all of these potential approaches, council would still have the final decision, but they would be fully supported with informed reports that are written with thought, deliberation, and expertise.
The Watermark An example of how a large development did little for affordable housing. We need experts on staff to ensure that developments such as this support our local population.