2015

Dec 08, 2015 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Adopts New Housing Affordability Strategy

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, December 8, 2015 – In an effort to develop a local approach to one of the region’s most pressing issues, Coquitlam Council has approved a new Housing Affordability Strategy (HAS).

The Strategy has been in development over the past several years – from a discussion paper in 2013, to a framework in 2014 and then through extensive consultation with the development industry, housing partners, stakeholders and the public in 2014 and 2015.

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 senior government funding.

The HAS is organized around a straightforward approach with four key objectives that form policy cornerstones including: 

  • Fostering housing affordability through innovation;
  • Promoting affordable living;
  • Leveraging the City’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (AHRF); and
  • Building strategic partnerships.

The four key objectives are supported by a number of policy directions and 54 actions where Coquitlam will take on roles appropriate and proportional to the authority and resources of the City, but requires partner contributions to be successful.

The City’s next steps will be implementing ten high-priority action items including:

  • 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.

For more information, or to read the complete Strategy, visit www.coquitlam.ca/housing.

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Media contact:
Jim McIntyre
General Manager, Planning and Development
604-927-3401