Saanich calls on residents and housing experts to apply for the Housing Strategy task force. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich calls for applicants to join Housing Strategy task force

Council to appoint ‘diverse group’ to tackle housing challenges

Those looking to take an active role in the creation of Saanich’s Housing Strategy can now apply to a task force that will guide the District in bringing affordable housing options to the municipality.

In June, council voted in favour of the Housing Strategy terms of reference and agreed to establish a task force made up of community stakeholders.

READ ALSO: Saanich opts to develop Housing Strategy with stakeholder task force

The task force will develop “action-oriented strategies” using the five focus areas of the Housing Strategy – increasing the supply of affordable, accessible housing for low to moderate-income families, working towards a diverse housing supply, revitalizing the rental housing supply, looking for ways to reduce access barriers and strengthening partnerships and building community awareness.

READ ALSO: Saanich council pauses updates to local area plans

Saanich is looking to appoint “a really diverse group” to the task force, said Coun. Zac de Vries who brought the idea of a task force to council in May. The goal is to have people with lived experience facing housing challenges and those who supply the housing stock coming up with solutions together.

The District needs a strategy that will “yield results,” de Vries said, adding that past plans have not met the needs of the community.

Desired applicants include renters, people living in subsidized housing, seniors, post-secondary students, people from not-for-profit housing, builders, developers, planning or design experts, academics, apartment landlords, real estate professionals and representatives from the Capital Regional District and BC Housing.

READ ALSO: Saanich council increases unrelated occupancy limit from four to six

The task force’s first meeting will take place in September and will likely be virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, de Vries said. There will be about seven meetings in total through the fall with an option to add more meetings as needed.

Those not involved in the task force will still be able to weigh in on the draft Housing Strategy once it’s been completed.

Application forms are available online and can be submitted for consideration until July 31. To learn more or to take part in the District’s public Housing Strategy survey, visit saanich.ca.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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