With the municipal election just a few short weeks away, what are the pressing issues in Delta?
It would seem that housing choice is top of mind, especially if you are within the younger demographic.
Additionally, with Delta’s increasing aging population, more housing form will be needed to accommodate seniors wishing to “age in place” rather than being forced to move to communities that offer more opportunity to down size. Currently seniors make up 15 to 20 per cent of Delta’s population. By 2024 this number is expected to increase to 41 per cent.
How will our Delta politicians deal with immense housing challenges to keep our city vibrant and viable?
Delta’s Housing Action Plan (2021) has eight strategies to deal with these housing challenges. Three of note are to “explore ways to increase land availability for priority housing”, “pilot pre-zoning in select areas near town centres”, and “create opportunities for gentle density”.
The Achieving for Delta website echo these strategies when they suggest it is important that “building and permitting more housing options in town centres…”
In the document titled “Delta’s Social Profile“, (2017), it is noted that housing stock will be needed to be increased by 8,300 units by 2041 to adequately handle population growth. Some of this need has been addressed through TFN developments, Tsawwassen Springs and the Southlands, but it is abundantly clear that more stock and choice is needed.
Currently, our housing stock is made up of 5.5 per cent townhomes, 14 per cent of apartments and multi-family and 80 per cent single family.
The 80 per cent single family number will have to dramatically decrease as a percentage of housing stock to meet the needs of a changing demographic.
We have all either experienced or have seen how housing requirements change through our life. Having housing choice is important for us to grow within our communities rather than being forced to move from our friends and families.
Many suggest that if you can’t live here then it is time to move on. That may be true to some extent, but a better model to ensure viable and sustainable strong towns is to increase our housing options across the board.
A local group called Deltans for People Oriented Places (Del-POP) has issued a press release itemizing priorities they would like to see an ideal council candidate address. There are many of them, but of note in the top five is to “Approve Housing Choice and Lightened Zoning”. You can view all of the suggestions at http://www.delpop.ca.