The District of Squamish has reformed its zoning regulations to make it easier to construct affordable housing within the municipality.

The mayor stated that while Squamish has long been popular among outdoor enthusiasts, the move is a positive step towards accommodating the needs of a growing community.

“Not only are we ready to do the work, we have started to move the dial. We are looking forward to seeing the investment follow it, and realizing some new affordable housing units as soon as practical,” said Squamish mayor Armand Huford.

The zoning bylaw change allows for projects that are six storeys, or less, in any neighbourhood. According to the district, the removal of red tape means affordable housing can be built faster at a lower cost, which will result in more affordable rent.

Local residents believe more affordable housing is needed but there are some concerns.

“The downtown area of Squamish has some infrastructure issues,” Andres Acevedo said. “We only have one way in or out of downtown and when you increase the population … that’s only going to make things worse.”

Since 2017, the district has worked with government agencies and community partners to help facilitate 387 non-market publicly-funded affordable rental units in the community.

The district estimates that 6,840 units need to be built by 2031 to meet the housing needs in the fast-growing community.


Source: Global News