Sarah Ellis I am excited to present our first Housing Squamish quarterly newsletter, where we will be providing regular updates to our community about the work of our organization and our partners, housing data and trends, and opportunities to engage with us. The past year saw Housing Squamish reach a number of important milestones as we officially launched toward becoming the hub for housing in Squamish.

On a personal level, I am honored to have been chosen to fill the role of Executive Director of Housing Squamish in July of last year. This is a critical time for advocacy, partnership, and collaboration so that, as a community, we can secure much-needed housing now and for years to come and advance our core values of Reconciliation, Collaboration, Equity, Generational thinking, and Transparency.  I’m thrilled to work in my community alongside partners who have been working hard to bring housing to Squamish, including the District of Squamish, Provincial and Federal government partners, local service providers and business leaders, and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation).

We also recently welcomed three new board members, filling all of our board seats.

At the end of 2023, we launched our new Strategic Plan, which is shaped around four pillars that will guide our work in the months and years to come:

  • Pillar 1: Bring Affordable Housing to Our Community
  • Pillar 2: Coordinate and Improve Affordable Housing Delivery
  • Pillar 3: Engage, Educate and Advocate
  • Pillar 4: Embody Reconciliation, Equity and Good Governance

Housing Squamish's 4 Pillars

We presented our mission, vision, values and strategic plan as well as key data and insights on housing to the District of Squamish Council in October last year, and discussed opportunities facing our Society and partners for the coming year as we move ahead.

Along with the Strategic Plan, we have a detailed work plan that outlines actions and activities that will further our work to achieve our mission of catalyzing housing solutions across the spectrum of housing needs in Squamish. We recently applied to the BC Housing Community Housing Fund (CHF) for grant funding to start the process of exploring the potential for a new affordable housing project at 39900 Government Road. This site, one of a small number of district-owned sites that are suitable for housing, is centrally located and well-situated to provide homes for individuals and families.

We are excited to be partnering with the District of Squamish as they leverage $7M received through the CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund to accelerate the delivery of housing in Squamish. You can learn more about the Housing Accelerator Fund and District of Squamish Action Plan here.

Finally, we heard from you, our community, through our Word on Housing survey focusing on understanding barriers to finding housing in Squamish and solutions to help address these barriers. We thank everyone who participated, and we look forward to continuing to engage with you on these important topics in the future.

In the year ahead, we will take steps toward building a portfolio of secure, attainable housing, leveraging new funding opportunities to protect existing rental housing, and working toward a vision of a coordinated access hub for housing for Squamish community members. To stay informed about our work and any exciting announcements, sign up for our newsletter at our website, housingsquamish.ca.

It’s clear that the housing crisis will take all of us to work together, bring our creativity, our can-do attribute, and truly leverage opportunities to build and secure more housing – because home is everything.

Yours truly,
Sarah Ellis,
Executive Director

Housing Squamish is an independent non-profit Society that was created through a partnership between the District of Squamish, local affordable housing providers in Town, and key community members interested in tackling Squamish’s affordability challenges.