The City of Delta is moving closer to having a new housing action plan.
Council recently held a workshop to discuss a series of draft recommendations that could become part of a final plan.
According to staff, the 10 draft strategies include some shorter-term “easy wins” as well as some longer-term items with “high impact.”
Once the draft strategies are further refined by staff and a consultant retained by Delta, they are to go out for public and stakeholder consultation.
The strategies include defining priority unit types in the Official Community Plan to guide both incentivizing and regulatory measures, increasing the proportion of adaptable units required in new multi-family developments from 20-to-50 per cent and introducing a tenant relocation policy to reduce negative impacts of redevelopment on existing tenants, which the City of Burnaby has with its tenant assistance policy, as well as introducing a rental replacement policy to protect the existing rental supply, something the City of Surrey has with its rental replacement and tenant relocation assistance policy.
The proposed strategy also includes dedicating staff resources to build partnerships and facilitate the development of needed housing types, provide meaningful housing input in a forthcoming land acquisition strategy, creating “gentle density” opportunities to create opportunities for two-to-four units in single-family zones where appropriate and introducing a sliding scale incentive package to refine the city's approach to incentivizing the supply and affordability needed.
The plan also includes pilot pre-zoning in select areas near town centres to signal to property owners and developers that additional density is needed, thus reducing administrative and financial burden associated with rezoning approvals, and pilot inclusionary rental zoning for redevelopment to increase the supply of non-market rental housing.
The city began the action plan exercise with a housing needs assessment which included public consultations.
Some of the feedback received from residents included Delta needing more affordable housing in the form of more basement suites, affordable housing for seniors, smaller townhomes, more rental housing under $1,200 a month and a better supply of financial assistance to support transition to market housing, as well as the city considering an empty homes tax.
On a separate front, the city has a task force that could pave the way for more high-rise developments along the Scott Road corridor.
After the Hari Homes 35 storey high-rise application for Scott Road at 75A Avenue went down to defeat, Mayor George Harvie, who was in favour of the proposal, said he wanted to establish a group to look at the corridor in particular to provide certainty.
The task force was to be structured to utilize the results of Delta’s housing needs assessment, according to the city, adding the task force will also be a key part of the housing action plan related to the corridor.