The City of Delta is seeking residents’ input on the next phase of its Housing Action Plan.
An online questionnaire will be available on Let’s Talk Delta until Dec. 7, and all community members are encouraged to provide feedback and ask questions.
“There’s a great variety of people who live in our community, and we want them all to be heard,” says Marcy Sangret, Deputy City Manager, who hopes to receive input from residents from across Delta.
“People have unique housing needs, but everyone needs housing. We know many people struggle to find housing that suits their individual needs and circumstances. People are also looking to the future, thinking about the type of housing they will need for years to come.
“It’s important that we hear from, and account for, the wide range of lived experiences our residents have.”
Typically, a citywide consultation would involve public meetings. Due to limitations on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public consultation process has been moved online but will be no less engaging. The online engagement includes a survey about potential housing strategies and the opportunity to ask questions of City staff.
The City is now in the second phase of its housing action plan, which follows a citywide housing needs assessment that was completed in 2019.
“Phase one was about understanding Delta’s housing needs and identifying the gaps that currently exist, which are preventing people from finding housing that’s right for them. Some of the gaps we identified are purpose-built rentals, affordable below-market housing, and housing for seniors and people of all ages that might need extra supports now or in future, but want to live independently” Sangret says.
The City’s action plan is designed to meet the needs highlighted in last year’s housing assessment, where four key areas were identified:
- The right supply: to create more rental, senior supportive and accessible housing.
- The right price: to foster greater affordability in housing and living costs
- The right balance: to ensure density and infill housing meet the community’s needs
- Housing supports: To provide continued support for vulnerable populations in housing need.
From the identified needs, the City put together a list of proposed strategies that address the four key areas.
“We’re looking for input from the community about those strategies. If people have ideas that are not reflected in the plan, we want to hear about those as well,” Sangret says.
“We’ve had some excellent and useful feedback already.”
Possible strategies and actions the City may implement over the next five years include:
- Promoting priority housing through ‘sliding scale’ incentives
- Exploring ways to increase land availability for priority housing
- Creating opportunities for gentle density
- Introducing renter protection policies
- Increasing the number of accessible units in Delta
- Piloting pre-zoning in select areas near town centres
- Introducing inclusionary zoning policies
“Some of these strategies may only make sense in specific areas only,” Sangret adds.
While the deadline to submit feedback via the questionnaire is Dec. 7, the City will continue to answer submitted questions as they come in.
Once the virtual consultation period comes to a close, the input received from the public will be used to inform the City’s draft Housing Action Plan, which is expected to be presented to Delta Council in Spring 2021.
“That action plan will go out for another round of public consultation,” Sangret says.
First, residents, stakeholders, and Council will review this plan. Then, once endorsed by Council, the City will start implementing the actions set out in the plan.