After being selected as contract manager for the Sunshine Coast housing committee, the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society (SCCSS) has begun the hunt to hire a coordinator.
“Living costs on the Sunshine Coast are high — especially when it comes to housing,” said Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) chair Garry Nohr in a release announcing the $4,000 contract.
The housing committee is expected to monitor market and income trends, pursue government funding and grants, work with developers and housing groups and advise local governments on issues related to affordable housing.
The SCRD, Town of Gib-sons and District of Sechelt signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year, related to the need for a housing committee.
The committee’s budget is set at $40,000.
Many details have yet to emerge, but a draft terms of reference showed the membership could consist of seven representatives from various sectors including real estate, development, financial services, social planning and non-profit housing providers.
Those representatives could be appointed by the consensus of the MOU signatories. Each municipality would also appoint one elected official and one staff representative.
“The fundamental aim is around quality of life,” said SCCSS executive director Vicki Dobbyn.
The $4,000 contract will cover the SCCSS management of the committee budget, including some financial and insurance aspects, in addition to the hiring of a coordinator.
Contained in the budget is also a “very small” amount for consulting fees, should they be necessary.
“We see lack of stable, safe, affordable housing affecting many of the people we work with and even beyond that,” Dobbyn said. “It affects recruitment and retention of young people on the Sunshine Coast. So the effects are widespread, and I’m really happy that we’re at this stage where we’re going to have a lot of great minds together to tackle this.”
The position will be publicly posted, and local knowledge will be considered an advantage, Dobbyn said.
Qualifications listed in the job posting included experience in the housing and non-profit sectors, communication and design skills, a home office and “extensive knowledge of local, provincial and federal affordable housing issues.”
The coordinator’s direction will come from the committee chair, once elected by its membership.
“I think it’s going to require creative solutions and partnership solutions. This will facilitate that,” Dobbyn said.