Thank You… BIRCH has launched!

Thanks to the 20 or so Bowen Islanders who took time out of their weekend to join us for the launch event at Belterra. And a big thanks to the Belterra Community for use of their space.

We had some wonderful conversations about housing on Bowen, got some ideas and feedback on our upcoming application to the municipality (more news on that to come as we move forward) and got some great overall ideas on how to address the housing challenges on Bowen.

Some specific ideas (see photos below) were to find solutions for summer workers; creating a pilot project for a tiny house village with the BC Tiny House Collective and an educational institution; ideas on funding options and parameters for a rental housing project; and ideas for surveys of housing needs, current and future, that could be undertaken at a municipal level.

Thanks again to attendees for your enthusiasm and thoughtful discussion. I look forward to engaging again soon.

Remember to sign up to our email list for updates!

 

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Launch Event – New Date March 17th

BIRCH will be officially launched on Saturday March 14thth at 2pm, at the Belterra Common House!

Please join us, as we introduce the society and our purpose. We will also briefly introduce a project, currently in its very early stages, for local workforce housing on community lands.

Then we want to hear from you! This event will be interactive, we want to hear what Bowen Islanders want from a non-profit housing society. We will discuss/brainstorm:

  • What projects should we be working towards?
  • Ideas about where we can look for funding?
  • What role would you like us to have in the community?
  • What is Community Land Trust and is it a good solution for Bowen?
  • And more!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Launch Event Feb 24, 2pm

UPDATE – Event postponed due to weather, we will post the new date soon


BIRCH will be officially launched on Saturday February 24th at 2pm, at the Belterra Common House!

Please join us, as we introduce the society and our purpose. We will also briefly introduce a project, currently in its very early stages, for local workforce housing on community lands.

Then we want to hear from you! This event will be interactive, we want to hear what Bowen Islanders want from a non-profit housing society. We will discuss/brainstorm:

  • What projects should we be working towards?
  • Ideas about where we can look for funding?
  • What role would you like us to have in the community?
  • What is Community Land Trust and is it a good solution for Bowen?
  • And more!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunshine Coast working towards Affordable Housing

Check out what our neighbours at the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society are up to in terms of affordable housing:

https://www.affordablesc.org/

http://gibsons.ca/services/community-development/affordable-housing-projects/

Three projects, including one with Habitat for Humanity, are in development. They are working closely with the Town of Gibsons to develop affordable housing on town-owned land.

Affordable? Says who?

What does affordable mean?

In short, it’s 30% (or less) of your gross income (before tax is taken off) going towards your shelter costs.

CHMC has a great definition to clarify affordable, social and subsidized housing:

“In Canada, housing is considered affordable if shelter costs account for less than 30 per cent of before-tax household income. The term “affordable housing” is often used interchangeably with “social housing”; however, social housing is just one category of affordable housing and usually refers to rental housing subsidized by the government. Affordable housing is a much broader term and includes housing provided by the private, public and not-for-profit sectors as well as all forms of housing tenure (ie. rental, ownership and cooperative ownership). It also includes temporary as well as permanent housing. In other words, the term “affordable housing” can refer to any part of the housing continuum from temporary emergency shelters through transition housing, supportive housing, subsidized housing, market rental housing or market homeownership.”  (emphasis added)

Source: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/inpr/afhoce/afhoce_021.cfm

But what should be included in your shelter costs? Rent vs. Mortgage and Property taxes? Strata fees? Should utilities be taken into account?

Let’s run through a couple examples:

1. You work 40 hours a week, earning $12/hour. Your income is about $2000 per month. To be affordable, your housing should cost you no more than $600/month.

2. You are a salary employee, making $947/week (the average in BC as of Sept 2017), so just under $50,000/year, or $4,100/month. To be affordable, your housing should cost you no more than $1230/month.

3. Your household makes $70,336/year (the average for Canada in the 2016 census) or $5860/month. To be affordable, your housing should cost you no more than $1760/month.

Bowen Community Foundation: Vital Conversation 2017

 

Everyone wants a front door to come home to…

On January 20, 2018, The Bowen Island Community Foundation released its report on the Vital Conversation, held September 2017.

Housing is identified as a priority:

“Priority: Develop Housing For All”

It’s great to see it so clearly laid out in the report, along with solutions that were brainstormed at the vital conversations event. From the report:

  • Establish a Bowen Island Housing Authority
  • Create and maintain an up-to-date and accurate database of the Bowen housing Market
  • Encourage the municipality to appropriately zone surplus lands for mixed-use, affordable-market and non-market housing
  • Focus on senior housing options with varying levels of care

 

Download and read the full text here:

https://bowenfoundation.com/vital-conversations-2017/

 

YIMBY

YIMBY: Yes In My Back Yard

If we want to create positive change, we have to start saying yes!

YIMBY-ism in the news:

http://spacing.ca/vancouver/2016/07/04/yimby-movement-forming-vancouver/

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/07/yimby-groups-pro-development/532437/

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/oct/02/rise-of-the-yimbys-angry-millennials-radical-housing-solution

If you want change, get out there and let everyone know!