Council has identified the need to increase the diversity and accessibility of housing as a strategic priority. To ensure greater provision of access to affordable housing, members of the Affordable Housing Task Force will examine all aspects of the affordable housing situation in Okotoks over a two-year period and provide strategic and action-oriented recommendations to Council.
In June, 2018 the Task Force developed a draft definition of affordable housing for Okotoks.
On November 13, 2018 representatives from the Task Force presented a report at Council’s regular meeting that highlighted the urgent need to take action on affordable housing.
They made recommendations for three immediate actions that will provide a framework for increasing the potential to diversify affordable housing options. These include:
- revising the regulations around secondary and back lane suites,
- securing land for future affordable housing opportunities,
- implementing a monitoring system to measure progress.
Council approved the following motions:
"That Administration be directed to advance the affordable housing section of the Municipal Development Plan and have draft recommendations for Council’s consideration at the March 25, 2019 Council meeting."
"That Administration be directed to provide a report at the March 25, 2019 Council meeting outlining the draft proposed amendments to the regulatory framework that would achieve the objective of immediately providing the Okotoks rental market with additional affordable units, and that contains the following needs at a minimum:
- legalization and creation of secondary suites;
- backyard/detached suites in laned and non-laneway housing;
- co-housing opportunities in single family dwellings;
- accommodation of up to two bedrooms in secondary suites;
- parking relaxation conditions;
- fee waiver incentive analysis;
- municipal grant analysis; and
- caveats or other legal tools for long term provision of purpose built rental units."
"That administration be directed to explore comparable reporting methodologies and assess the impact on the organization of establishing permanent procedures for collecting and reporting data relative to citizen housing needs and report back to Council with plans and costing by June 30, 2019."
"That Administration be directed to include an affordable housing component for consideration in the 2019 budget presentations November 20, 21, and 22, 2018."