Affordable housing gets $250K boost in Qualiucm Beach

The money will be provided to Kiwannis society as a grant-in-aid; plus more from town council's meeting Monday night

Qualicum Beach committed an additional $250,000 to an affordable housing initiative at Monday night’s council meeting.

The money will be provided as grant-in-aid to Kiwanis Affordable Housing Society as matching funds — meaning the town will match the dollar amount the society raises for the their project up to $250,000.

Qualicum Beach CAO Daniel Sailland called affordable housing a “priority” of the town. He said the $250,000 contribution comes after the town waived $36,527 worth of building permit fees, reduced DCCs valued at $94,553, gave the society the equivalent of $173,000 (the proceeds of the lot sale), provided off-site infrastructure services worth $70,000 and provided funds from the density bonus contributions targeting affordable housing of $86,500.

Qualicum Beach politicians are putting their money where their mouth is.

The Town committed an additional $250,000 to an affordable housing initiative at Monday night’s council meeting.

The money will be provided as grant-in-aid to Kiwanis Affordable Housing Society as matching funds — meaning the town will match the dollar amount the society raises for the their project up to $250,000.

Qualicum Beach CAO Daniel Sailland called affordable housing a “priority” of the town.

He said the $250,000 contribution comes after the town waived $36,527 worth of building permit fees, reduced DCCs valued at $94,553, gave the society the equivalent of $173,000 (the proceeds of the lot sale), provided off-site infrastructure services worth $70,000 and provided funds from the density bonus contributions targeting affordable housing of $86,500.

Sailland said the combined total value the town is contributing exceeds $600,000.

“That’s a pretty significant local government contribution,” he said. “Affordable housing fits in with the town’s youth attraction incentive, it’s multi-age, it’s mixed-housing and it is a strategic priority of the Town of Qualicum Beach.”

He said affordable housing is “certainly a priority of the town’s and they have put their money where their mouth is.”

In order to commit the cash, the town first had to amend their grant-in-aid policy to include affordable housing — whereas before the grant-in-aid policy only applied to policing and protective services and the chamber of commerce.

This brought up concerns over whether the chamber should be included in the grant-in-aid policy, as the policy is supposed to benefit only groups who support the town as a whole. For instance, policing and protective services (community policing, COPS) are believed to reduce the town’s policing costs.

Council deferred consideration of striking the chamber of commerce from their grant-in-aid policy.

The new affordable housing development replaces the existing 20-unit building, located at 250 First Ave. West, with 24 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments. The project aims to maintain its park-like setting to provide a healthy, outdoor environment for seniors and families at the site.

The Qualicum-Parksville Kiwanis Housing Society will manage and operate the building. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2015.

The Qualicum-Parksville Kiwanis Housing Society is a non-profit, charitable organization, established in 1973, to construct, own, operate and manage affordable housing projects in Qualicum Beach and Parksville.

Additional Qualicum Beach council highlights:

•    Council directed staff to issue a development variance permit for 623 Belyea Road subject to the property owner screening the accessory building with a hedge on the front property line and directed the owner to pay the town a $1,000 security deposit to ensure the hedge is retained for one year.

•    Council directed staff to apply for a grant from the 2014/2015 Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program in the amount of $101,509.84 to help fund the construction of a cycling path on lower Memorial Avenue.

•    Council of the Town of Qualicum Beach endorsed the AVICC recommended Gas Operating Agreement and authorized the Mayor and Corporate Administrator to sign the agreement on behalf of the Town.

•    Council instructed staff to proceed with the temporary road closures for the Remembrance Day Parade from the Legion to the Civic Centre on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

•    The recommendations from the heritage forest commission were approved by council: the kiosk location at the former stables site will remain, staff will explore suitable locations in the Heritage Forest and along the waterfront to display Douglas Fir slabs, staff will address noxious weeds, the Heritage Forest Management Plan will be amended to reflect the removal of the stables buildings and washrooms and staff will direct BC Hydro to decommission the utility line.