As winter rolls into spring, I am excited to share our second quarterly newsletter. The past few months have been buzzing with activity at Housing Squamish as we work with our local community partners, the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and all levels of government towards securing more affordable housing for our community, for now and years to come.

Recognizing the need (established in the District of Squamish Housing Needs Report) for new below-market housing to ensure a resilient community in the face of growing affordability challenges, our mandate has expanded to include Housing Squamish working towards becoming a housing provider, focusing on housing development and acquisition, the operation of new and existing affordable housing units, and business and real estate planning. This is a significant shift in mandate with major work ahead – to be successful at this task, we are grateful to be receiving time-limited funding support from the District of Squamish through their Housing Accelerator Fund grant from the federal government. We are very appreciative that the District recognized the depth of the housing needs in our community and the role of Housing Squamish in coordinating and improving affordable housing delivery.

As one of our initial steps toward our new focus on housing delivery, we have applied for the BC Rental Protection Fund, which supports non-profit housing providers like us to purchase existing, occupied, purpose-built rental buildings – and retain that affordability and housing stability for tenants over time. In the months ahead, we will continue our work to secure funding to bring housing to our community through a number of other federal and provincial programs. You can read more about this here.

On the people-side, we are expanding our team. In the next few weeks, we will be hiring a Manager of Society Operations and a Manager of Housing to support our expanded mandate. We are looking forward to introducing these passionate team members to you in the upcoming months.

One of the core action items for this year is creating a coordinated online housing portal for those who are looking for affordable housing in Squamish. We are very excited to announce that in the next few months, we will be working on a small-scale pilot project for our initial housing projects. You can read more about this here.

We continue to work with the District of Squamish on opportunities to deliver new affordable housing on specific District-owned sites. Keep an eye on our future newsletters for updates as work progresses.

It will take a village to ensure that Squamish is and will remain a place where we can live, work and play for generations to come, and we will continue to work hard towards that goal – because home is everything.

Yours truly,
Sarah Ellis,
Executive Director