The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is engaging residents in an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for a Regional Housing Service and loan authorization to address housing solutions on Cortes Island.
The AAP is “a form of approval that allows electors to indicate whether they are against a local government proposal moving forward,” according to the BC government.
The SRD approved the AAP process on Nov. 8.
“Approval was given to proceed with an alternative approval process (AAP) for Bylaws No. 512 and 515 which would establish a regional housing service and authorize borrowing of up to $10 million for that purpose,” the SRD website states. “If approved, the Regional District would be able to address a variety of housing challenges in the region including seniors housing, workforce housing, and other social housing issues either directly or in partnership with third parties such as housing societies.”
CKTZ spoke with Jim Abram who, up until a year ago, was Regional Director for Discovery Islands and Mainland Inlets (Area C) with the regional district for 35 years. Abram has two main concerns with adopting an regional housing service: increased taxes and required building inspections.
“If it passes, you’re going to be in the regional service and you’re going to pay for it on your taxes, whether you like it or not,” stated Abram.
A very particular problem for Cortes Island (Area B) and Quadra Island (Area C), according to Abram, is a Building Inspection Service - something currently not required on either island - that will follow from having a Regional Housing Service.
CKTZ contacted David Leitch, Chief Administrative Officer for the SRD, Tom Yates, Corporate Officer for the SRD, and Mark Vonesch, Regional Director for Cortes Island, each of whom did not respond.
The AAP runs until noon on Jan. 2. To learn more, visit the SRD webpage.
To hear more about the proposed SRD Regional Housing Service AAP, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: