The Golden Community Co-op presented their housing needs assessment and affordable housing strategy to the public on May 11.
The needs assessment covered data collection and what types and how many units of affordable housing would be needed in Golden, while the strategy outlines a plan on how to make those things happen in the community.
The Golden Community Coop partnered with the Town of Golden to hire CitySpaces Consulting to develop the Housing Needs Report and Affordable Housing Strategy for Golden and Area A. The process involved engagement with the community, non-profit partners, local businesses and developers through key informant interviews, an open house and focus groups.
The Housing Needs Report identifies the populations most in need of housing, housing gaps and other housing issues in the community; while the Affordable Housing Strategy identifies a series of actions and tools that can be implemented to address these needs and to influence change.
According to Jill Dewtie, the executive director of the Co-op, the presentation was well attended virtually, with over 20 people participating in the affordable housing conversation.
“We’ve been hearing loud and clear that housing is a huge priority, the number one priority for folks right now, seeing the cost of housing prices escalating beyond belief and outside of people’s ability to purchase,” said Dewtie.
“We are seeing some pressures on our community and on our housing stock, it happened quite quickly and COVID escalated things, we’re in a position where we need to act quickly to address these challenges. It’s putting pressure on our low and middle income individuals who don’t have a place to live, and that’s not the kind of community we want to live in.”
Dewtie says that people were interested in the specifics of numbers and demographics and were curious in how to get involved.
“They’re just trying to understand the complexity of it,” said Dewtie.
“It really is a community effort to make affordable housing happen, from developpers to government and residents supporting it in their community for the pieces to come together.”
The two document were also presented to Town Council on May 4 and were adopted in principal. An additional presentation will be given to the CSRD Board on July 17, at 10 a.m.
The housing needs report is a municipal requirement, says Dewtie meaning the town and the CSRD have to update them every five years. The strategy is something that the Co-op chooses to do.
Dewtie says that the two documents have laid the ground work for them to leverage grant applications in order to bring funds into the community for affordable housing projects.
“Getting funding for affordable housing projects is extremely competitive,” she explained.
“Having this assessment, we are in a better position as a community to be competitive in those funding calls for affordable housing money, we’re looking forward to that next stepping stone to bring these to Golden.”
The full presentation was recorded and can be viewed online, with both documents available on the Co-ops website goldencommunitycoop.ca/projects/affordable-housing.