Housing Affordability Strategy (HAS)
On December 7, 2015 City of Coquitlam Council endorsed a new Housing Affordability Strategy (HAS or the Strategy). The HAS replaces the 2007 Affordable Housing Strategy (AHS).
Through the Housing Affordability Strategy, Coquitlam's goal is to work with partners from the non-profit, private and public sectors to ensure that a wide variety of housing types, sizes, tenures and prices can be offered in Coquitlam in the years to come.
The Strategy also recognizes that local government's mandate and resources to address housing affordability are limited without partnerships and funding from other levels of government.
The HAS provides a vision, objectives, policy directions and specific actions to address housing affordability.
Housing Affordability Strategy
Housing Affordability Strategy Companion Document
Short Term High Priority Actions
- Consider concentrating higher densities and a broader variety of dwelling types and tenures near transit, through the completion of the Burquitlam-Lougheed Neighbourhood Plan;
- Encourage the development of designated market rental units (purpose-built and/or strata available for rental) through a suite of incentives as identified in the HAS;
- Review Zoning Bylaw density, parking, amenity space and other requirements to encourage the development of purpose-built rental housing;
- Consider permitting additional rental floor space above standard density allowances to encourage purpose-built rental subject to servicing, traffic, parking and urban design considerations;
- Employ a series of regulatory incentives to preserve existing rental and co-op housing;
- Contribute a portion of density bonusing into the AHRF based on the City’s Zoning Bylaw for the purpose of fostering housing affordability in accordance with the AHRF guidelines;
- Complete the sale of three City-owned sites in the Northeast previously identified for affordable housing, and direct one-third of the proceeds to immediately “jumpstart” the AHRF;
- A call for submissions and promotion of the availability and use of the AHRF;
- Call for partners to work with Coquitlam in addressing affordability and accessibility; and
- A Request for Proposals for an affordable housing project at 1358 Coast Meridian Road.
Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (AHRF)
The Affordable Housing Reserve Fund was established in January of 2009. The Council adopted policy is an important tool for contributing towards potential affordable housing solutions across the housing continuum. Based on a continuation of the current density bonus system, the AHRF could grow to reach $20-25 million over the next 30-35 years (depending on development activity). Evaluation of the AHRF will occur every two years through a Housing Affordability updated report to Council and a time-and-value trigger (every three years or $7 million positive balance).
Supporting Housing Affordability Strategy Documents
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Progress has been made with previous initiatives in addressing the need for housing and shelter for those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, through the provision of City land for Como Lake Gardens Housing Development, the emergency shelter and transitional housing facility at 3030 Gordon Avenue and policies to assist tenants living in mobile home parks during redevelopment.
528 Como Lake Avenue (Open) and 520 Como Lake Avenue (Under Construction) – Supportive Housing
Council provided and rezoned City-owned land at 528 Como Lake Avenue for a supportive housing project for single mothers and their children who are at-risk of homelessness. With the City land, a capital grant of $7.3 million from the Province, a Mortgage from BC Housing and $1 million raised by the YWCA, this project became a reality. The 30-unit facility opened on November 9, 2012 and is operated by the YWCA of Metro Vancouver. The women and their children at Como Lake Gardens have access to a wide range of integrated YWCA services that enable them to transition out of poverty and move closer to economic independence. For more information and for rental applications, please visit the YWCA Housing Communities website.
In July 2014, Council approved a rezoning and development permit at 520 Como Lake Avenue and density transfer from 528 Como Lake Avenue. The proposed development included a 26-storey market apartment building and a 3-storey, 7 unit, non-market family housing townhouse building. The non-market townhomes will be managed by the adjoining YWCA facility at 528 Como Lake Avenue. In addition to the new non-market housing, the project will include a new indoor amenity space adjacent to the townhouses for the YWCA that will be shared between the existing units at 528 Como Lake Avenue and the new units.
3030 Gordon Avenue – Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing - NOW OPEN!
Council provided and rezoned City-owned land at 3030 Gordon Avenue for an emergency shelter and transitional housing facility to serve the Tri-Cities. The City of Coquitlam worked closely with RainCity Housing, the shelter operator, City Spaces Consulting and DYS Architects to ensure the facility design and operation addressed issues of neighbourhood fit, safety and security. The facility opened in mid-December of 2015 and includes thirty emergency shelter beds and 30 transitional (short-stay) housing units and associated support services are provided onsite. The building can also provide shelter space for an additional 30 individuals during periods of extreme weather alerts.
Mobile Home Park Redevelopment Tenant Assistance Policy
In 2006, Council adopted a policy to assist residents who are displaced by the redevelopment of mobile home parks.
Housing & Homelessness Links
For further information, please contact:
Cathy van Poorten, Social Planner
Tasha Henderson, Social Planner
Planning & Development Department