Housing Affordability

The Islands Trust Council has declared that a housing equity and workforce shortage crisis exists on many of the islands within the Islands Trust Area. Strengthening housing affordability is an Islands Trust Council priority.

The Islands Trust Council is currently reviewing its Policy Statement to determine if there is a need to update or add policies about housing. See Islands 2050 for information on how to get involved.

Housing Strategic Action Plan

At its meeting on December 5, 2023, Islands Trust Council endorsed a Housing Strategic Action Plan to guide Trust-wide housing policy development and advocacy that supports Trust Council’s goal to sustain island character and healthy communities. The Housing Strategic Action Plan provides a framework to guide decision-making and allocate resources to help resolve the housing equity and workforce shortage crisis in the Islands Trust Area.

The Islands Trust Housing Strategic Action Plan is available here.

Housing Options Toolkit

This Housing Toolkit supports housing-related and land use planning projects to better address the need for housing options by providing trustees, planning staff, and community groups with structured implementation resources. The toolkit is not a finished product, but rather a living document to which new resources can be added as gaps are identified and solutions developed.

Read the full introductory summary here, or download the complete Housing Option Toolkit here.

Tool 2 - Housing Discussion Paper Guidelines

Tool 3 - Zoning and Policy Options Table

Tool 4 - Potential Suitable Land Analysis

Publication date to be confirmed.

Tool 5 - Potential Build-Out Analysis

Tool 6 - Housing Action Plan Template

Tool 7 - Annotated Bibliography of Housing Reports

Full reports (from the annotated bibliography) are available further down this page under Housing Reports and Resources.”

Housing Reports and Resources

Housing affordability in the Gulf Islands was identified as a community concern as early as 1994. The document inventory below is a collection of reports and other resources about housing – both affordable and market – authored by, commissioned by, or applying to, the Islands Trust since then. They are summarized in an annotated bibliography available here.

Local Housing Affordability Initiatives

Local trust committees and Bowen Island Municipality may have active projects related to affordable housing underway. Learn more on their webpages.

Developing Affordable and Special Needs Housing

Affordable or Special Needs Housing

If you’re interested in developing affordable or special needs housing, it’s important to understand approval processes and the roles of different levels of government and community organizations.

Before you start the process, read our Affordable and Special Needs Application Guide (57KB).

Housing Agreements

A housing agreement is a legal agreement between property owners—usually the organization(s) or society developing the housing—and the local trust committee. A housing agreement will almost always be a condition of an application for affordable housing. The agreement is adopted by bylaw and establishes terms such as:

  • Tenant or owner eligibility, usually based on income or other standards
  • Rental rates
  • Allowable rent increases, if applicable
  • The amount a unit can be sold for, if applicable

Each year, the Islands Trust reviews its housing agreements to ensure the terms are being upheld. You can view Islands Trust housing agreements by clicking below on the community where the housing agreement exists:

Make a Housing Agreement Application

The Islands Trust Guide to Housing Agreements (649KB) provides information about the process of establishing a housing agreement.

Housing affordability advocacy actions to date  here.

Other pages you may be interested in: