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Discussion on affordable housing in Coquitlam welcomed

The chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Group Sandy Burpee welcomes efforts by the City of Coquitlam to look into ways to boost affordable housing. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
The chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Group Sandy Burpee welcomes efforts by the City of Coquitlam to look into ways to boost affordable housing.
— image credit: DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

A Coquitlam affordable housing advocate is supporting the city's efforts to rethink the way it promotes affordable housing in the city. But Sandy Burpee said giving up on the idea of building below-market housing shouldn't be on the table as the city draws up its new Affordable Housing Strategy.

According to an issues paper released this week, the city will need 4,000 new units of housing for low income people to meet demand and make up for older rental apartments that will likely be torn down to make way for condos along the Evergreen Line.

The chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Group says developers don't typically provide that kind of housing without incentives. "I'm just wondering who is going to provide that housing. It's a challenging issue for sure," Burpee said.

However, he said he understands that the city wants to look at new ways of providing a wide range of housing, from private ownership to rental, with the support of multiple partners, including builders and banks.

"It's very timely for Coquitlam to look at the whole issue of housing affordability and what role it can play in it," Burpee said.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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