File photo

File photo

Affordable housing proposal pitched to Golden council

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, Jill Dewtie and Caroline Tremblay with the Golden Community Economic Development (CED), formally the Golden Community Co-op, presented their proposal for affordable housing in Golden to town coucil.

The proposed development would allow for multiple units for singles, single-parent families and low-income families, as housing prices rise in Golden and across B.C.

The CED says there would be specific criteria to live in the building in order to keep it equitable.

For example, residents would have to work in Golden in order to live in the affordable housing.

“Remote jobs won’t count,”explained Dewtie to council.

“We’re looking to house the people who work here.”

Potential tenants would be scored on criteria, which would be weighted and adapt to the ever-changing needs of Golden.

Dewtie also said it was crucial to ensure that the building didn’t just become staff accommodation for one employer and that every business would be able to benefit from having affordable housing available to all prospective employees.

She also said that it would be true affordable housing – when one tenant moves out, they won’t be jacking up the rental rates simply because they are allowed to.

This means that is intended to provide a long-term solution to the ongoing housing situation.

The proposal would address the gap between market rental rates and subsidized housing.

The CED would develop, own and operate the building.

Dewtie says there’s already prospective funders lined up, pending council’s approval.

Dewtie says the development would fit perfectly into the town’s Official Community Plan to grow the downtown.

There would be 40 units available, with retail space on the main floor.

“I’ve sat at this table for 11 years waiting for someone to come in and say they want to develop, own and operate in our community,” said Mayor Ron Oszust.

Dewtie said it was important to make sure the project is viable before bringing it to council.

“One of the largest obstacles we’ve faced as a community is to garner funding, so it’s great to hear that as well,” he said.

“This is a very exciting project,” said Coun. John Manuel.

“So many things, with affordable housing, revitalizing that part of town.

“And bringing more people downtown, this is not a bad thing,” he added.

The CED estimates that by 2028, Golden will need approximately 307 units of affordable housing, while there are not that many new units being built at current construction levels.