Town of Qualicum Beach is offering non-profit organizations an opportunity to discuss affordable housing on town-owned properties. (Black Press file photo)

Town of Qualicum Beach is offering non-profit organizations an opportunity to discuss affordable housing on town-owned properties. (Black Press file photo)

Qualicum Beach to look for expressions of interest for low-cost housing

Town-owned properties being discussed for affordable housing initiatives

Qualicum Beach council wants to hear from non-profit organizations that might be interested in developing low-cost housing on town-owned properties.

Coun. Scott Harrison initially made a notice of motion at council’s regular meeting on March 16 that town commence a request for expressions of interests for a low-cost housing development at 865 Ravensbourne Lane.

It was later amended by Coun. Teunis Westbroek to include a triangular property by the airport to provide interested parties more options to consider. The amended motion was approved unanimously.

“At this point you’ll just be testing the waters within our RFEI,” said Harrison. “Is there any groups that are actually interested or not? And if there aren’t, that’s fine we don’t have to deal with it. But if there is someone who is a non-profit looking to do something as long as there’s no expectation that town would provide any funding for it because I don’t think we’re in that financial position. I think it’s a good idea to just sort of see what people would be interested in doing.”

Coun. Anne Skipsey raised concerns on how the town could prioritize with the project they want to move forward with without a housing plan or a housing committee.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach considers spending $50K on consultant to develop town housing plan

“What is our vision for this property? What’s the density? What’s the model?” she asked. “I know when we’re throwing it out there, we’re kind of leaving it up to somebody else to make those … not decisions but suggestions. I also wonder if there’s been any discussions with the neighbouring property. Perhaps that should be part of a planning process that would look at all of the options.”

Harrison said it’s all about starting a process of letting people know.

“It’s just sort of getting the ball rolling and saying ‘OK we’re thinking about this,’” he said.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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