Analysing the Housing Action Plan – Del-POP Dispatch #7 – (Archive)

Delta’s Housing Deficit
Delta’s boundaries won’t expand to give us more land – we can only work with what we have. Let’s build more homes for more Deltans
Meet up: THIS Thursday (Oct 28) at 7:30PM on Zoom
Our monthly meeting will feature an analysis of the City’s proposed Housing Action Plan by Maxwell Ghilarducci, SFU Geography and Urban Studies student.

Please email delta4pop@gmail.com to receive the Zoom link if you haven’t received it before.
Will also be posted in Slack.

Encourage your friends to take a big step as a housing advocate by attending a Del-POP meetup!

My apologies that this didn’t happen last week – I hope we can have a good number joining on Thursday night!

Speak up:
Tuesday, Nov 2nd at 6:00 PM
Public hearing re. 16th Ave Beach Grove Townhouse project (register by THIS Friday)

Pre-register as a speaker or send in a letter of support for the introduction of twenty more homes in Twassessen within walking distance of the Town Centre! This project proposes to add value and add housing to an under-used stretch of 16th Ave in Twassessen abutting the golf course. The project is being opposed chiefly on the grounds that Beach Grove is too unique a neighbourhood to have any new additional homes added to it. This is exactly the type of neighbourhood defense that is mimiced in nearly every neighbourhood in Delta and the root cause of the stagnation that has settled on our city’s neighbourhoods. What if, instead, we welcomed the gradual densification of our neighbourhoods and welcomed the new residents who are upsizing, downsizing, retiring, or starting out? Visit zen16.com if you’d like to read about the project or visit the Let’s Talk page (https://letstalk.delta.ca/lu008390) to read about the project. 

Check up: 
Council is holding a public hearing tonight to hear from the public about a project at 120 Street and 75A Ave in North Delta that will add 165 new homes! We previously highlighted this project in our newsletter and it’s great to see it coming to council tonight with strong support. 

Write in: 
Email mayor and council to share your support for the Ladner Village Revitalization Plan! Check out this exciting project being proposed at the Dunbar Lumber site in Ladner and possibly send in a note of support for a major undertaking like this. 

Call Out for Volunteer Facebook Recruiters
As troublesome a platform as I may find Facebook to be, the reality is that a lot of housing-related conversations are taking place on the community pages of North Delta, Ladner, and Twassessen. If you’re interested in helping Del-POP to grow, one way you can help is by sending simple direct messages to commenters who express pro-housing sentiments in online discussions.

Talk with Jessie Morton or me (Norm) and we’ll come up with a way of coordinating our approaches online. We know that there are many Del-POP members just lurking out there in the shadows online and a simple message will bring them into a new world of allies and friends 🙂 

Join the Del-POP 101 Group on Facebookor follow Del-POP on Twitter or join us on Slack


Norm’s Two Cents on Housing
We want to see housing options improve within the lands we’ve already decided are suitable for building on. We want for-profit and non-profit projects to succeed and not be held back by arbitrary or outdated land use restrictions. We want our farms and environmentally sensitive areas to be robustly protected and enhanced. We want our residential neighbourhoods and town centres to flourish.

After decades of housing supply stagnation and increased scarcity of rental homes (of all sizes and sorts), the predicament that we’re faced with in the City of Delta is an alarming one. We have made it so difficult to build new homes (of all sizes and sorts) that only a small percentage of the needed projects proceed. Every one of these projects is forced to reckon with high land prices and construction costs and the outcome of ‘the squeeze’ that’s arisen from the preservation of single-family zoning at the expense of all other types of suitable housing. 

The City of Delta’s proposed Housing Action Plan offers a clear picture of what should be done but actually calls for very little of it to be done in a timely or bold way. The Housing Action Plan rightly identifies the value in tools like pre-zoning and expedited processing for critical housing projects.

However, it provides a very drawn out path to implementing those tools in any significant way. The vast majority of the recommendations are for ‘further study’ or the engagement of more consultants to determine best practices.

This is disappointing but not surprising because of the pattern of resistance to a significant change of course that we’ve seen at the local level.

Our opportunity is to give them every (good) reason to increase the impactfulness of the Housing Action Plan before they endorse it and bring it into effect.

The temptation that council faces is to water down the recommendations when the reality is they need to be beefed up considerably.

That will only happen if we are able to positively and fruitfully encourage our City to take more robust actions to address the housing crisis.

The first step was admitting we had a problem – the Housing Needs Assessment report provides an analytical account of what your neighbours, friends, and family have been saying already.

Now we need to make changes to the default practices of restrictive land use bylaws and the reluctance to introduce new types of housing into all of the neighbourhoods within Delta.

In principle, no neighbourhood should be exempted from changing housing forms and no neighbourhood should be forced to experience radical disruption because of the sudden introduction of major changes.

 Agree? Disagree? See you on Thursday night and we shall discuss!

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