QUESTIONS I'VE BEEN ASKED
The solution to housing is a complex one and I don’t think there is a single solution that’s going to solve it. I think it’s going to take creative thinking, innovative ideas, community minded developers, and a municipality willing to move quickly to address it. I believe that a blending of several possible solutions is the best answer. Secondary suites on existing properties, tiny homes, cohousing and coliving developments, support for community land trusts, and the relaxing of some zoning bylaws are all areas I’d like to look at.
The simplest of these solutions to start with is secondary suites. The County already provides $25,000 forgivable loans for people to build secondary suites on their property to supply affordable housing. Where we encounter roadblocks are in areas like zoning which unfortunately leads to a lot of red tape and restricts it being an easy process for the property owner. Those are areas we as a Town can make changes to zoning to remove barriers. A second option is cohousing and coliving developments, which provide more affordable housing solutions because of shared resources and smaller footprints.
The reality is we’re not the only Town experiencing this issue. There are other examples around the worlds of communities addressing this issue, so we only need to look to them for what’s working and what isn’t, and adapt those models to suit our community.