Housing Squamish, an independent non-profit housing society, has applied to the BC Housing Community Housing Fund for grant funding to complete pre-development work for a potential affordable housing project in Squamish.
The project would be located on a District-owned site on 39900 Government Road, and the District of Squamish Council has endorsed the funding application, said Sarah Ellis, the society’s executive director. “The site is one of the few properties owned by the District that can accommodate housing and is located in a central location near jobs, schools and recreational amenities,” Ellis said.
She said the District identified this site as a potential affordable housing project in response to the significant housing need identified in the recently completed Housing Needs Report for Squamish. The report found a need for over 6,000 new homes by 2030, especially to meet the needs of families and those earning low and moderate incomes. The report also noted that while Squamish is growing at three times the provincial average, there aren’t enough missing middle homes, specifically townhomes.
District of Squamish will soon update its bylaws and regulations to align with new provincial rules to create more housing in the Province. According to a District memo, staff will update its Zoning Bylaw by June 2024 to allow small-scale, multi-unit housing in the community.
If the grant application is approved, Housing Squamish plans to proceed with feasibility and design work and then submit a development permit application to the District. Grant funding applications will also be submitted to BC Housing and CMHC for the necessary funding to support the construction. Ellis said that the project’s immediate neighbour has been informed of the project’s possibility, adding that if the grant application is successful, more details will be shared with the community.
“The organization is committed to working closely with the District of Squamish, local housing and service providers, and community leaders to bring affordable homes to the community and ensure the needs and interests of community members are reflected in the project,” Ellis said.