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Town of Creston working to mitigate affordable housing issues with action plan

A committee is meeting regularly to approve actions outlined in the plan.

The Town of Creston is working to increase affordable housing options in the area.

Asha DeLisle, affordable housing and climate change coordinator at the Town of Creston, said the town has adopted an action plan to help with the situation.

The RDCK Housing Action Plan was adopted in January 2023 to help bring more affordable housing options to Creston.

DeLisle shared some statistics from the action plan that demonstrate the lack of affordable housing in Creston. 2021 data says 17.7 per cent of people in unaffordable housing, and 8.7 per cent are in a “core housing need, with unaffordable, inadequate, or unsuitable housing.”

“Part of the reason why we think these statistics are the way that they are is the supply problem, for one. There’s not enough affordable housing.”

There are 19 actions outlined in the plan that are meant to mitigate the affordable housing problem in Creston.

DeLisle explained that there are too many single family homes, and not enough availability of housing such as duplexes and apartments. Low vacancy rates for rentals don’t help the matter either.

An affordable housing committee will approve the individual actions on the plan.

The affordable housing committee met for the first time in June 2022, and is comprised of representatives from a variety of backgrounds, including the building development, health, services, social advocacy and real estate sectors. Members from other community groups such as Creston Valley Community Housing Society, RDCK and Yaqan Nuki.

“It’s a large group of people who come together to make a change with the housing situation. It’s a pretty great group of people,” said DeLisle.

This committee was formed to help guide the housing action plan.

Many of the items in the action plan involve zoning changes and increasing density.

Although the Housing Action Plan had been approved by the town council, the specific actions outlined in the plan have yet to be approved by the committee.

The committee most recently met on June 20, and they decided to defer approving the actions until they had received more information, said DeLisle.

The committee will be looking at the actions again on July 18, for further consideration.

DeLisle said the town is also working on a housing hub website so people can better access information.