Under the Terms of Reference of the Affordable Housing Working Group (AHWG), the intention was that the AHWG would “begin the work of the municipal housing organization.”
After developing and launching the Affordable Housing Program in late 2008, the group turned to the task of establishing the Bowen Island Housing Corporation (BIHC). The final outcome was an report for Council prepared by the affordable housing consultant: Organizational Framework and Sustainable Funding Options for the Bowen Island Housing Corporation.
The AHWG presented the report to Council for the first time in June 2009. Council endorsed the concept of the BIHC, but requested a staff report with more details. In December 2009, Council agreed that the more detailed report on the formation of the BIHC would be prepared by the consultant to the AHWG. Following delays due to changes in senior staff and the demands of major initiatives such as the Official Community Plan update on staff and the community, and the loss of two contributing members, the final report was completed in 2011 and presented to Council in February 2012.
The report provided information responding to previous questions and concerns raised by Council, and reviewed the benefits of the corporation model as the most effective strategy to stimulate the delivery of affordable housing to meet the needs of the Bowen Island community.
In summary, the function of the BIHC will be to manage all the processes associated with the Affordable Housing Program, and champion the development affordable housing.
Operationally, it would be small and nimble, and grow as needed. Following a short period of seed funding from the Municipality, the BIHC would become self-sustaining as units came on stream.
The report included a summary of the benefits of corporation model:
- Be accountable to BIM Council without being an ongoing financial burden on the local tax base.
- Draw on community expertise through a volunteer skills-based board of directors.
- Have the professional skills-based capacity to create development partnerships to deliver affordable housing.
- Advise Council as an informed referral body on the affordable housing component of rezoning proposals.
- Provide continuity of service and consistency of work on affordable housing matters.
- Develop a local community network of affordable housing knowledge and expertise.
- Have the authority to enter into the financial agreements necessary to develop affordable housing.
- Limit BIM’s legal liability with respect to affordable housing stock.
- Take on the responsibility of administering affordable housing waitlists, covenants to protect the affordability of housing stock, rental policies, and resale of covenant-protected housing stock.
- Be a municipally-endorsed champion for affordable housing on Bowen Island.
On February 27, 2012, Council authorized the incorporation of the BIHC. The AHWG was directed to work with staff to recruit the founding directors, who would carry out an initial work plan while completing the incorporation of the BIHC.
- Organizational Framework and Sustainable Funding Options for the Bowen Island Housing Corporation. Download
- Final report of the AHWG with details on the formation of the BIHC: Summary of report to Council on February 27, 2012 with links to documents here.
New website for the Bowen Island Housing Corporation here.