Gibsons commits to Housing Society funding

Gibsons council has given third reading to zoning and Official Community Plan amendments for the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society’s (SCAHS) project on Shaw Road, and agreed to provide funding to help the society hire staff.

The Shaw Road project, which would be built on Town-owned property at 571 Shaw, involves up to 70 units in two phases.

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In September, the society made presentations to both Sechelt and Gibsons councils asking for them to contribute funds to hire an executive director and project manager, which would cost about $36,000 for the remainder of 2019 and $146,000 for 2020 and 2021.

The society said it hopes to be self-supporting after 2021 because rents from completed projects will be coming in.

Councillors in Gibsons heard at their Oct. 1 meeting that the Town has about $478,000 in its affordable housing reserve fund, which would leave enough money to cover the SCAHS request.

Council voted unanimously to offer $30,000 for 2019 “to support operational requirements of projects within the Town of Gibsons, subject to the SCAHS providing documentation that this contribution would go directly to support Town related projects.”

They also voted to earmark a $50,000 contribution for 2020.

Sechelt council is holding off on a decision until it puts a new bylaw and policy in place for using the money in the district’s affordable housing reserve fund, the most likely source of funding for SCAHS. The bylaw and policy were expected to go to council Oct. 2, after Coast Reporter’s deadline.

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