Our Sustainable Official Community Plan includes policies of encouraging a mix of housing types and tenures, plus ensuring an adequate supply of affordable, rental, and special needs housing. The Powell River Region Community Social Plan puts these policies into action with the goal of everyone living in the Powell River region having stable housing by 2020.
The “housing continuum” is a useful framework for understanding housing options, from government-supported housing like shelters, transitional, and non-market housing to market housing, like market rental and homeownership.
The following summarizes some recent projects the City has supported to address housing needs in our community.
Non-Profit and Affordable Housing
Over the last few years, the cost of housing has risen dramatically for homeowners and renters, the vacancy rate has become tighter, and income supports have not kept up. As a result, members of our community are at risk of or are already experiencing homelessness.
Recent projects to encourage more housing options include:
Affordable Housing Reserve Fund: The City has approved two Zoning Amendment Bylaws where the applicant made a voluntary amenity contribution for affordable housing.
Rapid Response Modular Housing: The City worked with BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, and community agencies to plan the placement of 40 self-contained studio homes with supports on Regional Hospital District Board land at Joyce Avenue and Harvie. Learn more…
Seniors’ Housing: Recent applications to the City include Sunset Homes 55+ Rental, Coastal Winds Seniors Village, Lifecycle Seniors and Family Housing, and Inclusion Homes Rental.
To promote the supply of more (and more affordable ) market housing, the City has recently:
Drafted regulations to manage short-term rentals.
Created a pilot program for fast-tracking single and two-family dwelling building permits.
Allowed residential small lot development.
Worked with the private sector to support the development of multi-family buildings.
Strengthening Communities Services Grant
COVID-19 has amplified the issues faced by vulnerable populations such as those experiencing homelessness, due to inadequate housing, limitations or temporary closures of support services and facilities and isolation requirements.
The City of Powell River, qathet Regional District, Tla'amin Nation, and community partners are working together to strengthen community services in the qathet region by expanding and enhancing services, programs, and support systems for people without housing throughout COVID-19, via the Strengthening Community Services (SCS) grant provided by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
The SCS grant aims to achieve the above through 4 activities:
1. Improve the health and safety of unsheltered peers through creating temporary shelter spaces and providing increased access to transportation services.
2. Reduce community concerns about public health and safety through community engagement.
3. Improve coordination between relevant organizations.
4. Increase governmental capacity to work with unsheltered peers through appropriate training opportunities.
qathet Regional Housing Needs Report 2021
In May 2021, the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District and Tla’amin Nation completed the qathet Regional Housing Needs Report. The key objectives of the housing needs report are to:
Create an inventory of existing housing stock
Collect information regarding housing needs in the region
Identify future projections for housing over the next five years
Identify a strategy or implementation plan to meet those projections
The report will also be used to develop a regional housing strategy specifically to address affordable housing and identify recommendations to facilitate its development now and in the future.
See the qathet Regional Housing Needs Report 2021 here.
BC Housing provides the funding for the emergency shelter and Lift Community Services operates the service as a response to homelessness in cold and freezing weather. Shelter guests receive 2 meals, a safe place to sleep, and support. Staff are onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The shelter is open between January 7 and March 31, 2022.
Jessica, manager for the Community Resource Centre, 604-414-9880
Direct line for the Shelter: 604-223-8152
Planning Services Department
Call us at 604-485-8650
Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm
Closed on holidays
Vital Signs Powell River (PRVS website currently down)