Frequently Asked Questions
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1. What is Paisley Place?
Paisley Place is an affordable rental housing development proposed to be built and operated by the Gabriola Housing Society (GHS), an incorporated non-profit society and registered charity.
Its primary aim is to provide comfortable and secure rental housing at an affordable rent (maximum 30% of household income), mainly to people with low to modest incomes. GHS plans to build 24 homes there (in triplexes) comprising studios, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom dwellings (see also questions 6, 7, & 13)
2. How is this proposal being dealt with by the Islands Trust at the local level?
In January 2020, GHS applied to the LTC to rezone the property for affordable housing. That process is ongoing.
Below is a graphic showing the approval process as presented at the December 10th Community Information Meeting.
In mid-January, Islands Trust (IT) Executive Committee approved the proposed Bylaws #306 (Official Community Plan) and #307 (Land Use Bylaw). Bylaw #306 is now awaiting approval by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Josie Osborne.
Islands Trust lawyers have reviewed proposed Bylaw #308 (Housing Agreement) and the amended draft is currently being reviewed by Snuneymuxw First Nation. Following their input the draft will be discussed by the LTC for possible 2nd and 3rd Reading. It does not require another Public Hearing.
3. Where is Paisley Place?
Paisley Place is near the village core, close to amenities. The proposed housing will be built on Lots 1 and 2, to the north and east of Paisley Place leaving a buffer on the west side of the property and retaining the frequently used public walking trail there. View the site plan here.
4. Why was Paisley Place chosen as the site for the housing project?
After extensive research, the Paisley Place land was one of the options that GHS considered appropriate
- the site is close to services (school, clinic, shopping, public transport)
- an access road is already in place
- the site is adjacent to a small, forested park and a public trail system
- in Aug 2019, the land was donated to GHS by the owner, Emcon Services
5. Why is this affordable rental housing needed on Gabriola?
GHS believes that a strong community needs all members, not just the wealthy and physically able, to have healthy, secure, affordable homes. Multiple studies (including by the Islands Trust) over the last decade have found an acute shortage of affordable, decent, secure rental housing here (as elsewhere). Most communities are experiencing the same problem—moving elsewhere is not a solution.
6. What is affordable housing?
The Islands Trust Northern Islands Housing Needs Assessment Report (June 2018) defined it this way:
“Generally, affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income.
The definition of affordable housing varies; however, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and British Columbia define affordable housing as housing that does not cost more than 30% of a household’s annual income, which includes utilities.”
7. When will this housing be built and occupied?
Information updated June 5th. On June 4 we were notified by BC Housing that our application for funding through the 2021 Community Housing Fund had NOT been chosen. We had hoped to begin preparation and construction early in 2022 and have tenants move in late in 2023. This may now be delayed, depending on our ability to find timely, alternative funding.
8. What about water?
Updated May 10th: As part of the provincial government’s Water Licence application process, on December 3, 2020 GHS received the Hydrogeological Technical Review (3.2MB PDF). This review contains important observations and conclusions that will guide the decision re providing the Water Licence for Paisley Place.
Testing of the main well on the project site indicates that there is adequate water to meet the needs of the project. GHS has also investigated rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, and a grey water system for toilet-flushing and minimal irrigation. Refer to the reports, located at the LTC website:
http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/current-applications/current-application-documents/ (Point 5).
GHS has recently submitted a draft Water Management Plan to the LTC for its consideration. It is available on the LTC website at:
GHS received the Water Licence from the BC government on May 3.
9. What about septic?
A Wastewater Report indicated that either a Type 2 or a Type 3 system is adequate for the site. GHS has chosen to go with a Type 3 advanced secondary treatment system. Refer to the report on the LTC website:
10. Where will the money come from to build and operate the housing?
- BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund (provincial government)
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
- Private community donations
- Grants from foundations, VanCity, etc.
11. What is the estimated construction budget?
The estimated total is approximately $7 million dollars.
12. How can Gabriolans be assured that the property will remain zoned for affordable housing?
The current Official Community Plan (OCP) requires a Housing Agreement Bylaw and a covenant, registered on the property title (http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/350052/blgb166-ocp-consolidated-sept-2-2019.pdf (See Section 2.4, Policy h.).
Read about the Housing Agreement process: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/345532/housing-agreement-application-guide.pdf
The Housing Agreement will also establish the eligibility requirements for prospective tenants. The current draft of the Housing Agreement is posted on the LTC website: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/current-applications/current-application-documents/
13. What will the tenants’ income levels be?
Assuming GHS obtains funding from BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund, there will be three categories of tenant incomes:
- Deep Subsidy: 20% of the homes (5 of the 24 units) will be for households with incomes below about $26,400 (based on BC-wide data).
- Rent Geared to Income: 50% of the homes (12 of the 24 units) will be for households with incomes below about $56,000 (BC Housing’s 2021 Housing Income Limits based on Nanaimo data).
- Affordable Market Rent: 30% of homes (7 of the 24 units) will be for households with incomes below about $113,000 (based on BC-wide data).
The planned number of homes with 2 or 3 bedrooms has been increased from 8 to 12, to enable more families to live at Paisley Place. The number of studios was reduced. The average size of the homes still meets the OCP limit of 900 square feet.
14. Who can live at Paisley Place?
- BC Housing sets the application eligibility requirements regarding household income levels and assets.
- Gabriola’s LTC will establish a Housing Agreement with GHS that is registered on the title of the land. This document will include other terms for eligibility to apply. The current draft of the Housing Agreement is on the LTC website: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/current-applications/current-application-documents/
- Tenants must be able to live independently (that is, there will be no on-site services provided by GHS for people with special needs).
15. Who will select the tenants?
- People who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to live at Paisley Place will first apply through BC Housing (BCH).
- The GHS team will interview prospective tenants and use a decision matrix to select tenants and then assign them to vacant dwellings as appropriate.
- GHS will set policy around such things as pets/smoking/vehicles, etc.
16. Who will manage the operations of the project?
GHS will hire a Housing Manager, and other staff as needed.
17. How will tenant disputes be handled?
- GHS will sign a BC Residential Tenancy Agreement with each household.
- The GHS Housing Manager will work with tenants to resolve issues.