Housing and Affordability Task Force
Housing and Affordability Task Force Members
- Patricia Marshall-Thompson (Chair)
- Cynthia Anonuevo
- Tyler Austin Bradley
- Heather Brandvold
- Robert Felsch
Lower Columbia Housing Study: Strategy Completed in 2012
Download the Study here (720 KB file)
Lower Columbia Housing Study: Needs Assessment completed in 2011
The Attainable Housing Committee of the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society began meeting in 2009 with the goal to conduct an attainable housing needs assessment and prepare a housing strategy for the Lower Columbia Region. Patricia Marshall-Thompson as the Chair of Rossland's Housing and Affordability Task Force took a seat at the table on the Attainable Housing Committee with the LCCDT.
The project will address housing attainability throughout the Lower Columbia Region and address the full spectrum of housing stock. The Housing Strategy will recommend planning principles, and policy options that will lead to an appropriate mix of attainable housing in the Lower Columbia. A key objective of this project is to ensure full and active involvement of the community during the Needs Assessment and Strategy Development.
The attainable housing needs assessment and strategy is supported by all Lower Columbia communities, and by the Columbia Basin Trust through the Affordable Housing Resource Program.
In April of 2011 the LCCDT hired M. Thomson Consulting to conduct an Attainable Housing Study for the Lower Columbia Region (which includes Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale and Areas A and B). The Study consists of two phases: the development of an Attainable Housing Needs Assessment and the development of an Attainable Housing Strategic Plan for the LCR.
The first phase of the project is now complete, and the Lower Columbia Region Attainable Housing Needs Assessment is publicly available. The Needs Assessment uses existing quantitative data (e.g. Statistics Canada, BC Stats, CMHC and local sources such as Teck Metals Ltd.) to develop a demographic, economic and housing profile for the region and determine current and emerging needs and gaps. Extensive interviews with local key informants from local government, the real estate and development sector, non-profits and service providers and local employers supplemented this quantitative data. The report assesses attainable housing needs examines across a spectrum, identifying strengths and gaps in the following categories of housing:
- Shelter needs for homeless individuals
- Housing for individuals who require supportive services (e.g. individuals with mental health or addictions issues, etc.)
- Low-income housing
- Seniors housing (for independent seniors and those requiring additional supports)
- Rental housing
- Entry-level homeownership
To view the Needs Assessment full report see the below attachment. Hard copies will be available for loan at local libraries in Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley to ensure that the contents are publicly available.
The Study is now entering is second phase, the development of an Attainable Housing Strategic Plan. The Plan will combine further research on best practices with strong community engagement to develop a range of strategies to address the gaps identified in the Needs Assessment and should be available in November 2011.
Accomplishments in 2009:
Housing Needs Research
In the spring of 2009 the HATF had a presentation from George Penfold, Selkirk College's Regional Innovation Chair regarding regional housing and population information. They also consulted with local builders and developers to with regard to building regulations and incentives that would contribute to housing affordability.
Affordable Housing Strategy for a Small Resort Municipality
In June 2009, The Housing and Affordability Task Force conducted a very successful workshop entitled "Affordable Housing Strategy for a Small Resort Municipality". The event was very well attended by local builders, developers, and affordable housing experts. Participants provided positive input with regard to options for improving affordable housing availability in Rossland.
The event was funded ($5000) by Affordability and Choice Today, a housing regulatory reform initiative of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (administrator), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (funder), the Canadian Home Builder’s Association, and the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association.
Presentations were given regarding the regional outlook for housing affordability, market outlook for entry level homes in Rossland, strategies to promote affordable housing and the status of other affordable housing initiatives. Breakout sessions involving workshop attendees were conducted to gather information regarding the main challenges associated with building affordable housing in Rossland, potential Rossland specific solutions to creating entry-level affordable housing, the role of builders and developers in developing affordable housing and next steps in developing an affordable housing strategy for Rossland.
Exit surveys indicated that participants found the workshop very useful.
Download the report here.
Joint Grant Application for Housing Needs Assessment
In the fall of 2009, the Housing and Affordability Task Force commenced working with the Attainable Housing Committee of the Lower Columbia Community Development Team (LCCDT) on a Lower Columbia Region Attainable Housing Needs Assessment and Strategy. The initial goal was to secure $36,500 in funding by January of 2010 and proceed with issuing the Request for Proposals. The goal of the project will be to conduct an attainable housing review and prepare an attainable housing strategy for the Lower Columbia Region that will:
- Address housing attainability across the LCCDT region with localized information provided for four sub-regions;
- Assess the full spectrum of housing stock and identify gaps, weaknesses and strengths relative to current and future needs;
- Engage and inform community members, stakeholder organizations, elected representatives, developers and staff of local government about attainable housing issues and opportunities in the region;
- Develop goals and action plans that lead to housing attainability for the region;
- Recommend a set of strategies over a 10 year horizon (2010 – 2020) with recommendations on what priorities should be addressed at what point along the timeline;
- Recommend planning principles and policy options and priorities for consideration by the local area decision makers; and
- Collect and develop data that enhances the existing data compiled in the Columbia Basin Trust’s State of the Basin report.
Seniors Housing Focus Group
In cooperation with the Abbeyfield Society, the Housing and Affordability Task Force conducted a Seniors Housing needs focus group meeting in Rossland on Monday, November 23, 2009.
The forum was run by consultants with the Abbeyfield Society and focused on the need for more seniors housing in Greater Trail and surrounding communities. Seniors were asked to identify the kind of housing the kinds of housing they require and prices that would be affordable. The forum was part of a feasibility study on developing additional affordable seniors housing units in Greater Trail.
The event in Rossland was attended by 28 seniors.