Friday, July 9, 2010

Housing Options Moving Forward

Council has been busy on a number of housing initiatives since we got elected in November of 2009. Hundreds of new units are being built, some are operational already, and new initiatives are moving forward to provide affordable housing, options for people with disabilities or supportive facilities for those with substance abuse problems.

Most recently the Mayor worked behind the scenes to help persuade the province to open up summer shelter beds while we wait for more permanent facilities and services to complete.  In the last couple of days we've also completed purchase of a couple of bankrupt Traveler's Inns that will be turned into housing for disadvantaged First Nation's families and another project for low income singles.

Tackling homelessness and growing our supply of diverse and affordable housing for Victorians was probably the biggest issue in the last election and our citizen surveys continue to identify it as a top priority.  We're delivering.

The Traveler's Inn purchase has been getting great reviews and we're seeking funding to help carry the mortgage and operate the facilities.  But we're not done yet.

Soon a new cottage or garden suite policy will come to council.  It's another of the  initiatives we've undertaken to grow the supply of affordable housing for a diverse community.  Watch the city's website for announcements that will signal the policy is coming to council. 

In the meantime, click on the title to read more about backyard cottage housing initiatives south of the border.   The USA Today story covers a lot of ground, focusing in particularly on programs in Seattle.  It's good background on how other jurisdictions are embracing the cottage house or garden suite concept in their own backyards.  It's an old idea whose time has come again.

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