The primary focus for the Affordable Housing Working Group (AHWG) was to create the policy and legal tools to ensure that all new housing development on Bowen Island would automatically create a number of units that would be ‘perpetually’ affordable for qualified island residents. With a number of major development projects in the planning stages, there was an urgency to act quickly to ensure that opportunities were not missed.
By the end of 2008, the AHWG had created an Affordable Housing Program comprising the following elements:
- An Affordable Housing Policy to ensure that every housing development project reserves 15% of the gross floor area for affordable, non-market housing that is price-restricted in perpetuity.
- Housing covenants to be registered on the title of the housing units produced under the Affordable Housing Policy, in favour of the Bowen Island Municipality, to ensure that the units would remain perpetually affordable.
- Policy framework for qualifying individuals and families for affordable housing opportunities, including a system of applications and waitlist.
- Communications plan to introduce the program, and invite initial applications for the waitlist for affordable housing units, initially for ownership housing.
The Affordable Housing Program launched in October 2008 was preceded by an outreach program, and supported by the following information materials and events:
This work was to be continued by the new housing corporation to be established, which would also facilitate the creation of affordable housing units through collaboration on development projects.
The Affordable Housing Program is now supported by a dedicated website: waitlist.bowenislandhousing.ca