The City of Burnaby’s bold actions on housing since 2019 have received strong support from members and residents involved in the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing.
“In its 2019 final report, the Task Force set an ambitious vision to build a community with affordable housing for everyone,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “We still have much work ahead to achieve that vision, but it is encouraging to hear we continue to enjoy strong support from the public and the members of the Task Force.”
What We Heard
Earlier this year, two special meetings were held to reconvene residents and the Task Force to evaluate progress and solicit feedback. These meetings were facilitated by Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, which facilitated the Your Voice. Your Home. public engagement process and Task Force work in 2019.
On February 11, 2021, 13 residents who participated in an all-day Community Recommendations Workshop in May 2019 as part of the Your Voice. Your Home. reconvened to review the City’s work in delivering on their Community Recommendations.
On March 1, all 18 members of the Task Force reconvened to review the City’s progress on their 18 recommendations.
“The process of reconvening residents and Task Force members to evaluate progress on their own recommendations is incredibly unique,” said Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director of the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and facilitator of the Task Force. “This practice of looping back to participants is all too rare in engagement processes. By doing this, the City of Burnaby is sharing important information, demonstrating accountability and building trust, elements which are essential to revitalizing democracy and advancing real change.”
The majority of residents and members of the Task Force expressed a high level of satisfaction with the City’s progress to date, and said they were confident in the City’s direction moving forward.
All 13 residents said they felt satisfied or highly satisfied with the City’s progress on creating more affordable housing, and a strong majority expressed similar satisfaction with the City’s efforts to increase renter options, supports and protections. Residents noted that a lot remains to be accomplished, and urged the City to continue to urgently address housing issues, despite the long-term nature of these changes. Many residents also said they would like to see the City continue to innovate and pursue partnerships with senior levels of government.
The feedback provided by participants will be taken into consideration as the City continues to implement the Task Force’s quick starts and recommendations, and as it develops HOME: Burnaby’s Housing + Homelessness Strategy.
Read the summary of the findings from both meetings:
- Resident Reconvening Workshop: What We Heard Report
- Mayor’s Task Force Reconvening Workshop: What We Heard Report
Burnaby’s Bold Actions on Housing
Since the release of the Task Force recommendations in July 2019, the City has been working hard to make headway on implementing the quick starts and recommendations including:
- Adopting one of the most robust and progressive tenant assistance policies in Canada, ensuring people can stay in their neighbourhood at the same rent.
- Adopting BC’s first rental-use zoning policy which requires a minimum of 20% below-market rental housing in most new developments, city-wide.
- Identifying and initiating pre-zoning of five City-owned sites for 1,150+ units of non-market and affordable housing, which would increase non-market housing in Burnaby by 20%.
- Establishing a rent bank to support renters to continue living in their existing rental units and help prevent homelessness.
Building upon the success of the Task Force and the first two phases of Your Voice. Your Home. and the recently completed Housing Needs Report, the City is now working on the draft HOME: Burnaby’s Housing + Homelessness Strategy, Burnaby’s first housing and homelessness strategy. This strategy will be a comprehensive policy document that incorporates the Task Force’s quick starts and recommendations into a framework to address challenges and opportunities across the entire housing system, including reducing homelessness.
Learn More: Mayor's Task Force on Community Housing
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