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Shaw Road affordable housing project set to start

As soon as Nov. 7, the first phase of the Shaw Road project, a 40-unit building containing a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, could break ground.
Concept plan for affordable housing development at 571 Shaw Road

With a ground-breaking ceremony on Nov. 7 being tentatively discussed, Gibsons agreed to swap one form a guarantee for another to help move the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society’s project at 571 Shaw Road a step closer to a construction start. 

The town’s 2018-2022 council was called back into service on short notice to a special council meeting on Oct. 19 to consider the issue.  It agreed to accept a letter of indemnification from the BC Housing Management Commission (BCHMC) to ensure requirements under the town's Subdivision and Development Servicing and Stormwater Management Bylaw are paid for. The Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society are financing their project through BCHMC. Normal practice would have seen the society provide a letter of credit for work related to the project.

Building permit ready

Along with comments from Coun. David Croal regarding the potential for a launch event, town chief administrative officer, Emanuel Machado confirmed that the proponents are slated to be at the Town offices on Oct. 21 to pick up and pay for the project’s building permit. It is for the first phase of the project, a 40-unit building containing a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

It has received grant funding and BCHMC has agreed to loan the Society monies for project construction. Under that financing proposal, 30 per cent of the project’s units would be offered at 80 per cent or less of the median market rental rate, with the balance rented at below market rates. The society’s vision is to build up to 70 units on the approximately four acres of Town-owned land.

Stormwater management questions

The staff report provided to council detailed that the society has agreed to complete the design and construction of works and services, including stormwater management related to the project. In response to questions from Coun. Annemarie De Andrade regarding flooding on properties adjacent to the site, Machado confirmed that a project stormwater management plan has been submitted and reviewed by both Town staff and consulting engineers. He also noted the Town would be doing work to make drainage improvements related to its infrastructure in the area.

The report also noted that “the Project continues to pay for its share of development costs, so there is no implication to the [Town’s] Financial Plan.”