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Ward 6 - Richard Pootmans

Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations

 

Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations: My Thoughts

With the defeat of the Housing and Affordability Task Force motion at Council yesterday, Calgary was left with an incomplete affordable housing policy.  This was rapidly becoming a national embarrassment, with possible housing funding implications from other orders of Government.

With our population growing at a rate of 25-30,000 people annually, this gap is an unacceptable situation for us today and could present even worse problems in our future.

Like everyone else, I saw elements in the Housing and Affordability Task Force work that I could agree with, and some parts that I struggled with.  Procedurally at Council, however, we were unable to resolve our issues and challenges as the recommendations were part of a package from our expert advisors.  Nor could we bring independent due diligence into the discussions.

For me, the most problematic matter was our inability to use the Council forum to hear from the public, especially on matters such as land use changes and parking requirements. The solution was to work with colleagues to provide an alternate series of recommendations for the Task Force.

These recommendations (shown below) provide for a public hearing at the Community Development Committee (CDC) on September 14th, 2023.  This lead time should enable all of those interested to participate in the hearing. If there were to be recommendations accepted at CDC, for example a change in base land use districts, those changes would have to be initially brought to a public engagement and then subsequently to a public hearing at Council.

Should further work specific to initiating a change to the base land use district be directed by Council through an updated Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy this fall, any such adjustment would then require a fulsome property owner notification approach and public hearing process as well as subsequent Council deliberation.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I look forward to continuing discussions with residents, Administration and my Council colleagues.

 

RECONSIDERATION OF 9.1.3

ALTERNATE RECOMMENDATIONS:

That Council:

1. Receive the Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions (“Recommendations”) for information (Attachment 2);

2. Disband the Housing and Affordability Task Force and thank its members for their time and professional advice;

3. Direct Administration to incorporate the Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions into the revisions presently underway on the Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy, which is scheduled to return to Community Development Committee in September 2023;

4. Direct Administration, as part of the September 2023 Committee presentation, to clearly identify which Housing and Affordability Task Force Recommendations and Actions were incorporated into the Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy, the corporate-wide implications (including but not limited to changes to base land use district, parking requirements, or funding for the downtown incentive program), and the decisions required from Council as a result;

5. Direct Administration to bring forward specific actions for further consideration and deliberation through committee to Council, including those that require additional budget resources to the monthly standing Executive Committee item “Strategic Discussion on Building and Delivering on Plans and Budgets”.

6. Direct Administration to report on the status of the implementation of the updated Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy on a quarterly basis, through Community Development Committee to Council, commencing in Q4 2023.

 

Calgary city council changes course, charts plan to review housing recommendations - LiveWire Calgary

Categories: Affordable housing, Housing and Affordability

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