One of the biggest issues facing our community today is housing affordability. I will push the new council to create an aggressive plan to tackle this crisis. Ensuring we do our part at the municipal level to increase and mandate affordable and subsidized rental housing is key. To do this, we have to have a stronger policy in place to control new development in Squamish. However, we alone as a district cannot bring real housing affordability to our community. This is best done through collaboration of different levels of government and private partnerships with developers. We need to lobby provincial and federal governments to help fund affordable housing projects in this district. Realizing the demand, they have started to roll out programs to mitigate our housing crisis. For example, the CHMC provides preferred rate construction financing to developers who sign housing agreements for subsidized rentals. Offering a huge incentive to the developer while giving us necessary affordable housing. Another way is to use municipal owned land for the purpose of constructing affordable housing. Creating a housing authority, much like whistlers, will be more beneficial when they have some units to manage.
Strategically planning our neighbourhoods is key to having a well-functioning, connected, community. Meaning preserving the green space which makes our home so beautiful, all while maximizing strategic development in areas where growth is feasible. Sidewalks, connective trails, transit friendliness, and increased walk ability, are all ways to add functionality. This includes, infill in existing areas, not filling in wetlands and limiting urban sprawl. Infill can be done right or completely wrong. Densifying neighbourhoods without adequate parking, park space, or transit access, is going to be disastrous. We have to remember to be very strategic when infilling, planning not only for tomorrow, but the days following.
(See “Stance” tab for views on Garibaldi Springs & DL 509/510)
When and if we want to delve off our plans (OCP, etc.), significant public amenities should be provided. I want to work hard to provide our constituents with the best deals possible through hard negotiations. Facilities such as Brennan park, are more easily upgraded or renewed when public and private sectors come together to service the community. We should as a community, benefit from every development which is proposed in Squamish. These types of arrangements and partnerships should be facilitated by our local government. Working as a team makes things much easier, by increasing communications between our partners and the Squamish Nation we can better tackle community problems.
Trying to find parking downtown is very difficult. Parking problems are best fixed through strong policy. Working with developers to provide public parking in their projects, is really going to make a difference. The Cash in Lieu parking fund, was at roughly $445,000 by the end of 2017. With no public parking in sight, I can only infer this method to improve the problem is not working. Again, a stronger policy enforcing stricter parking regulations is needed to fix this problem.