Minutes of Past Annual General Meetings of the Kaslo Housing Society
Kaslo Housing Society
Minutes, 2020 AGM
November 12, 2020
- Welcome & call to order: 7 pm
- Members in attendance: Erika Bird, Christine Parton, Tara Clapp, Cloe Bayeur-Holland, Alexandra Halliday, Miriam Halliday, Suzan Hewat, Gerry Divine, Dianna Parker, Kate O’Keefe, Lynn Van Deursen
- Approve 2019 AGM minutes: Motion to adopt the 2019 AGM Minutes – Alexandra, Seconded – Suzan, M/C
- Report from the Chair (Erika Bird):
Report from the Chair
Housing Coordinator: Activities April 2019 – December 2019
In April 2018,thanks to grants from the Columbia Basin Trust and the Kaslo/Area D Economic Development Commission, KHS was able to hire Kevin Flaherty to work on our behalf 25 hours a week. In the spring of 2019 Kevin asked to reduce his commitment to 15 hours per week. Tara Clapp, who had just led us through the development of our 2019-2025 Strategic Plan, was asked to take on some of his duties for the remainder of his term.
Projects initiated by Kevin include:
Homeshare – Seniors Aging In Place The idea of Homeshare was to match seniors with extra room with young people who needed accommodation and who could help maintain the home. It turned out that this idea was more interesting to some seniors in theory than in practice, so the plan was shelved.
Community Working to End Homelessness Kevin established a working group composed of community members and KHS directors. In June 2019, CBT granted $5,000 to the project. KHS reserved $3,600.The staff of Western Financial Group office in Kaslo designated the proceeds from their Walk for a Local Charity to KHS. This program depended on us finding a landlord who would rent a suitable place to the society. The society would then find a tenant who was having difficulty securing housing, and Community Services would help to support that person. KHS would guarantee that the rent was paid and that the apartment was cared for properly. Just last month, KHS decided to put this plan on hold since we were unable to find a willing landlord.
Co-op Housing August 20, 2019 Kevin organized a community information meeting. The goals of the meeting included providing basic information about types of co-op housing organization; obtaining a sense of who might be in need of housing; and supporting the formation of a co-op housing group. Lorien Quattrocchi acted as a resource person for the meeting.
Several people were interested in pursuing the idea further, and this group met again in November 2019. Zoe Creighton at Upper Columbia Coop Council attended. The pandemic slowed this forward movement considerably, but the idea is still attracting interest.
No new meetings have been scheduled, but we believe that there will be a renewal of interest in co-op housing during the course of the Village’s review of the Official Community Plan. There is a large tract of Village land that could accommodate co-op housing or a community land trust in the future. Helping the Village with determining the future of Area 8 has been a priority of KHS since Mayor Suzan Hewat and most councilors agreed, back in 2018, to take on this task during their current mandate.
Outreach: The value in having a paid coordinator position is in the potential of bringing information and people together. Kevin networked with groups up the lake, with the Seniors Shelter Society, with the Anglican Church, and many other individuals and societies in Kaslo. He made regular reports to the Village/Area D Economic Development Commission and helped to keep the lack of affordable housing in our area on the agenda.
An important contact he established was with New Commons Development, a not-for-profit firm that, to date, has provided valuable expertise through two real estate offers, and is partnering with us now on our current project, the feasibility study for the Penny Lane Apartments (that’s our working title.) More on that later.
Further afield Kevin connected with housing proponents from Valemont, New Denver, and Nelson, to name a few.
Kevin’s employment with KHS came to an end in December 2019.
Village and Regional Housing Strategy
Solving the housing crisis in our area is a thorny problem. The good news is that many people and groups are involved in the effort. The not-so-good news is that, individually, these efforts are not enough.
Early in 2019 the KHS board requested that the Village form a committee that would be tasked with creating an Affordable Housing Strategy for Kaslo. Molly Leathwood did make a motion to look into that but nothing has come of it. The Village did create the Building Assets and Housing Committee, but that committee has only met once, and housing was not on the agenda.
The RDCK Board also formally recognized the need for a Regional Housing Strategy. The first step towards this was completed by the RDCK just a month or so ago with the publication of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment – a study that was mandated by the Province of BC. KHS and the Village contributed to this effort. We are hoping that the creation of a Regional Housing Strategy is still on the RDCK’s To-Do list.
At the last AGM, we reported that the Village had granted KHS a 99-year lease on a 0.8 acre parcel located behind the Public Works yard, a place popularly known as Lovers. That, we knew, was only the first step in the possibility that KHS could find the financing needed to build affordable housing. In order to have a shot at provincial funding, we knew we had to cost out the expense of bringing services to the parcel. We hoped to begin that work, in collaboration with the Village, in early 2019. But there was a mismatch between our desire to move forward with this and the Village’s capacity at the time. Realizing this, we tasked Tara Clapp, a local planner, to come up with an assessment of alternate sites that were already serviced. It was time to turn our focus elsewhere.
Kaslo Bay Estates
In July of 2019, the asking price for the abandoned condos in the bay, and associated 14 acres, dropped from $6 million to $2 million. Kevin contacted New Commons Development, who had a new focus on housing development in rural areas, and they were interested in the opportunity. So was BC Housing. All of us got together, and after a site tour, KHS and New Commons decided to prepare an offer subject to conditions. An offer was put forward, and the seller accepted. The next months were taken up with due diligence – of which the environmental and market assessments were the most critical. New Commons funded these studies.
Results: A professional property evaluation indicated that the cost of developing the property, on top of the asking price, would make financing the project unlikely. The environmental assessment demonstrated significant risks. We withdrew our offer.
The Village of Kaslo joins us
In December 2019, the Village suggested that they wished to take a more active role in acquiring the property, and that, as a municipality, they could bring additional funding to the offer without impacting tax payers. A collaboration of this sort has to be undertaken very carefully, with lawyers, to be sure the Village wasn’t putting the municipality or rate payers at risk. In early 2020 another offer on the Kaslo Bay properties was made. Unfortunately the offer was not accepted.
I must point out that throughout these investigations of the Kaslo Bay properties, Tara’s contributions in the area of risk analysis, and her role as part of the team with Dion Whyte of New Commons, were invaluable. Plus she can draw up a business plan like nobody’s business.
Back to square one?
Not at all. As frustrating as the setbacks in 2019 and 2020 have been, KHS has gained something very important to future success: our ongoing partnership with New Commons Development, Small Communities Initiative, and a strengthened relationship with the Village.
Tara will speak to our current project.
Motion to receive/accept Chair’s report – Kate, Seconded – Christine – M/C
- Report from the Treasurer (presented by Tara Clapp on behalf of John Rasmussen, our Treasurer, who was absent due to illness):
Thanks To Our Funders And Supporters:
- Columbia Basin Trust, the Village of Kaslo and Area D for their support of the Housing Coordinator position
- Columbia Basin Trust Housing Program for their support of the Site Comparison.
- Western Financial for their donation from the Chili CookOff event. The Kaslo District and Community Forest, Kaslo Outdoor Recreation Society, Kaslo Search And Rescue, The Province of BC, and all the volunteers and other organizations, that helped make Winter In The Forst a success.
- Organizations like Kaslo JazzFest, Kaslo Jamboree and Ididaride, that provided KHS with fundraising opportunities.
- Community members, who have made donations to KHS in 2019 and 2020..
- We would like to extend our gratitude to outgoing Director Cloe Bayeur-Holland for her leadership and efforts in fundraising.
Kaslo Housing Society – Financial Statements Available On Request
Question by Lynn – Lynn inquires about the kinds of expenses, that add up to the $5000 in fundraising expenses, as listed in the document: Kaslo Housing Society – Statement Of Operations And Operating Net Assets. Answer: A lot of the fund raising is done through Winter In The Forest. The Kaslo And District Community Forest Society has funded KHS with a grant of $4000, which is mostly spent on Winter In The Forest. The other fund raising expenses came from 2 Beer Gardens. Thus KHS raised $15,000 with $5,000 in fund raising expenses.
Motion to receive the Treasurer’s Report – Kate, Seconded – Lynn: M/C
- Rental Housing Project For Kaslo – AGM Update – by Tara Clapp:
Rental Housing Project For Kaslo – Penny Lane Apartments
- Site For Rental Housing:
- Feasibility Investigation:
- Conceptual Design:
- Next Steps:
1. Site For Rental Housing:
Suitable site should have services: Road, sewer, water, electric, internet. Housing funding pays for onsite servicing, not offsite. Simpler servicing costs are better, can save years
Proximity/Neighbourhood: Walkable/scooterable to services for a range of abilities
Integrated into community fabric, as well as community infrastructure
Allows households to reduce $$ required for transportation
Neighbourhood friendly/friendly neighbourhood
Site under consideration: Kemball Site on A Avenue (Penny Lane Apartments) – Aerial Map shown
How well does Penny Lane meet our criteria initially?
- Serviced roads, sidewalks, water, sewer, electric, internet
- Proximity: Very ‘walkable’
- Allows great accessibility for a range of abilities
- Ability to live there without large household transportation expenses
Penny Lane Site – Additional Considerations:
Neighbourhood Heritage character
Proximity to Kemball building
Current uses of site: Parking, storage, propane
Renewable Energy – Geothermal wells, Electric car charging
Neighbourhood: Downtown, mixed government, commercial, rental, residential
2. Penny Lane Apartments Feasibility Investigation:
Village of Kaslo authorized Kaslo Housing Society and New Commons to undertake feasibility investigations of the site as rental housing Oct. 13.
What Are The Questions To Be Answered?
Are there site limitations of concern?
Service capacity: Water, sewer
What building/site plan?
Respects community character and heritage
Fits into the fabric of Kaslo between Kemball and the residential area
Meets the priority housing needs for Kaslo (that fit this call of funding)
Is able to answer community concerns and have the support of the community
How much will it cost to build, and how will it be funded?
Feasibility Work Plan I
Site Environmental investigation: Phase 1 investigates historic uses and identifies any likely contamination, plus
Given downtown location, do a little more than that to find out about ‘hydrocarbons’ – contaminants of concern
Initial public consultation to identify concerns as inputs to design: Oct 22 to current
Lots of support
Main concerns are: How many units, How much parking, How will it look, Who will live there – these are the main challenges for conceptual design
We will have more to talk about, when conceptual scheme is done. KHS wants to prioritize Kaslo residents.
Feasibility Work Plan II – Building And Site Concept:
First stage of architectural design: Christine Ross – Architect
- Informed by:
Initial public consultation
Site opportunities and constraints
Overall cost/funding competitiveness
Kaslo housing need profile
Building and site concept that fits with neighbourhood, addresses site capacity for units/parking, addresses cost/funding constraints
3. Conceptual Design:
Not ready to be shared at this time.
BC Housing – Community Housing Funding Call:
General Criteria: Proposal for MIXED INCOME/MIXED RENT affordable rental homes for middle and low-income families, independent seniors and individuals in BC
Application due Jan 15. 2021
Pending feasibility, our Penny Lane Apartments building proposal under this call will be: 20% highly subsidized rentals (affordable on BC fixed income), 50% ‘rent geared to income’ – affordable for working households with incomes of up to $50kish, 30% ‘market rental’
KHS has asked for 2 fully accessible units in the building. Another project goal is energy efficiency.
Funding Predevelopment Expenses:
- Application Development:
Kaslo Housing Society has been successful in an Investment Readiness Grant, with the assistance of New Commons Development.
Will be working over the next few weeks to find more of the funds to pay for the expenses developing the application.
Next set of expenses, if application successful: likely funded through a combination of BC Housing and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation – predevelopment funds – Geotechnical investigation, design development (architectural and civ), Studies required for Village of Kaslo approval processes
5. Next Steps:
Conceptual Design Ready Soon – Some people have signed up for the input session. Sign-up for Notice of Session was made available in Chat. We ‘may’ be able to do an in person session, or we may need to go online.
If all goes well, we hope to have Village support for our design/plan and apply for funding in January 2021.
… Then we wait…..
And seek other ways to fund this project.
The timelines from approval by BC Housing and the building being ready to move into are somewhere between 18 months and 2 years.
KHS has a waiting list we ask people to sign. It will help us make our case, if we have sign-ups on our waiting list. Nelson Cares has a 400 person waiting list. If we could get a few more names on our waiting list, it would help us clearly demonstrate Kaslo’s need for affordable housing.
6. Questions and Comments:
Kate asks Tara about the survey or a list of what it is residents want. Answer: From the 2016 Census and the RDCK’s Housing Needs Assessment we knew, that 67% of the tenant households in Kaslo were paying more than 30% of their household income on rent, and it is extreme, that many people pay more than 50% of their household income on rent. This is, why KHS has had rental housing as our main priority for the last 2 years. Many of the things the Housing Coordinator was working on were to ameliorate the rental situation, before we were able to build something. According to our landlord/tenant study, about 60% of households of 1 person and about 40% of larger households, with many younger families with children and many seniors, so quite a broad spectrum of members of our community, are in housing need. These are the statistics we gave to Christine Ross, our Architect, asking her to make this first building as diverse as possible. We are working towards 10 units in the building.
Suzan comments in the chat, that a new Housing Needs Assessment needs to be completed every 5 years. Tara explains, that the local community can update their Housing Needs Assessment from the Census data. The Census data undercounts some of our more mobile populations, and it will certainly undercount people, who are couch surfing, who are living in their parents’ basement or in their van up on a mountain. We have a fantastic case in Kaslo of how great our housing need is, even without finding everyone in housing need. Erika explains, that, in the 4 years since the 2016 Census, the housing costs have risen substantially. Although the Regional Housing Needs Assessment has a great section of good anecdotal evidence, it is forced to rely on 2016 Census statistics. Many people looking at it have realized, that the housing crisis has gone up by around 20%, and anyone following Real Estate will know, that a house, that would have sold for $325,000 will now sell for $395,000. The cost of houses has been rising, and along with this the cost of rentals, and no more rentals are being created. Once the Regional Housing Needs Assessment gets updated with the Census information from 2020/2021, it will show a much truer picture, but we can only work with the data available to us at this time. We do rely much on the landlord/tenant survey Cloe undertook in 2017, which contains some very good local data.
Motion to receive Tara’s Report – Gerry, Seconded – Kate M/C
- Directors not continuing
- Cloe Bayeur-Holland
- Debra Barrett
- Directors mid-term (not up for election):
- Dianna Smith
- Directors at end of term
- Erika Bird
- John Rasmussen
- Christine Parton
- Alexandra Halliday
- Directors recommended by Board for nominations
- Erika Bird (has served 2 x 2 year terms)
- Christine Parton (another term)
- John Rasmussen (another term)
- Alexandra Halliday (another term)
- Daniella Hansen (new)
- Gerry Devine (new – I year term)
- Nominations requested from the floor – Dianna nominates Kate, but Kate respectfully declines.
- Directors not continuing
- Motion to nominate all Directors – Erika, Seconded – Kate: All Directors were elected by Acclamation.
- Questions: No further questions are raised
Motion to adjourn – Lynn MC