Housing Policy Update

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Overview | Project Progress

To continue the proud tradition of building homes on our land and meet the Nation’s strategic vision of housing every Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Member within a generation, Nexwsxwníw̓ntm ta Úxwumixw (Council) requested that the Housing Policy be updated.

Staff from Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw (Planning & Capital Projects), Ts’ixwts’ixwnítway (Member Services), Nexwsp’áyaḵen ta Úxuwmixw (Community Operations), Ta na wa Ch’áwat ta Sx̱wéx̱wel (Squamish Valley Operations), Community Lands, and Hiy̓ám̓ Housing are working together on this important project.

The Project Team can be reached at housingpolicy@squamish.net or 604-904-7474.

Huy chexw a (thank you) to those Members who expressed interest in joining the Housing Policy Community Working Group. The following were selected to represent different demographics including on- and off-reserve, Squamish Valley and North Vancouver, those with a house and without, as well as various age groups. The group held their first meeting on October 12, 2022 and will meet biweekly until February 2023 with the intention of shifting to monthly meetings after that. 

Amy Baker 

Off-reserve 

North Vancouver 

Adult 

Glen Campo 

Off-reserve 

Langley 

Elder 

Becky Findlay 

On-reserve 

North Vancouver 

Adult 

Andrea Jacobs 

On-reserve 

North Vancouver 

Elder 

Uxwáluút, Jessica Natrall 

On-reserve 

North Vancouver 

Adult  

Lats-mat, Mary Jane Natrall 

On-reserve 

Squamish Valley 

Elder 

Jenna Vocal 

Off-reserve 

North Vancouver 

Adult 

Yususult, Rosemarie Williams 

On-reserve 

Squamish Valley 

Adult 

Project Progress

What we did

A number of engagement activities and opportunities for Members to provide feedback took place throughout 2022.

  • In January, a Housing History Timeline brochure was mailed to all households.
  • Two online community meetings were held in February. A Housing Q&A booklet was prepared based on the questions raised during those meetings. It was sent to all households.
  • The Project Team attended the Department Open Houses in May 2022 to gather input on various housing questions.
  • A Housing Policy survey was conducted in June and received over 130 responses.
  • In July, key Members who have expertise in different areas related to the Housing Policy were interviewed.
  • During the Amalgamation Day celebration, Members were invited to complete an interactive Housing Policy questionnaire.
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As Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw honors the teachings of the past and shows respect to the ancestors by upholding their words, feedback from previous engagements was also considered:

What we heard

The feedback has been woven into the Housing Policy Community Engagement Report 2022. It quickly became clear that a single Housing Policy could no longer incorporate all the updates required. Therefore, it was decided to create 13 individual policies divided by topic and guided by one overarching Housing Policy Framework.

A Member Resolution regarding housing policies was passed at the November 26 People’s Assembly. It raised many of the same concerns heard during the Project Team’s engagement activities and we look forward to presenting a report on this work at the next People’s Assembly in March 2023.

This is a significant amount of work and will need to take place in phases. Phase One will focus on developing/revising the Housing Policy Framework, the Home Construction Policy, the Maintenance and Renovations Policy, and the Rentals Policy. More information can be found in the slides below.

What we’re doing next

The following will be developed/revised with the goal of bringing them to Nexwsxwníw̓ntm ta Úxwumixw (Council) for approval in March 2023.

  • Housing Policy Framework
  • Home Construction Policy
  • Maintenance and Renovations Policy
  • Rentals Policy
Home Construction Policy
This policy will aim to provide clarity about the construction process. We asked Members if they think the construction of homes should be completed within one year, as outlined in the current Housing Policy. Of the 125 who responded, 63 voted yes and 57 voted no. Some felt that a one year deadline was sufficient, while others thought the deadline should be extended. Members would like to see the deadline, whatever it may be, enforced.
Read more
Maintenance and Renovations Policy
Members expressed concerns regarding the maintenance of lots, with many indicating that there is too much of a reliance on the Community Operations department when it comes to maintaining lots. To lower the number of unkept lots and residences, it was suggested that the Nation implement a yard maintenance grant, offer education and training on basic home maintenance and upkeep, and only respond to requests from Members who are unable to maintain their lot/residence on their own due to age, health etc.
Read more
Rentals Policy
We asked if Members should be permitted to rent their homes to other Members only. Of the 125 that responded, 72 said yes and 52 said no. To the question of whether those who are renting should be required to pay for expenses such as renovations, garbage, water, and sewer fees, 88 responded yes and 34 responded no. This policy will set the necessary conditions and rules to regulate the relationship between landlord and tenant on-reserve.
Read more
Previous
Next

The remaining policies will be developed at a later date. We will keep Members up to date on their progress.

  • Allocations Policy
  • Alterations and Additions Policy
  • Alternative Housing Policy
  • Buy and Sell Policy
  • Hiy̓ám Home Loan Policy
  • Laneways and Ensuites Policy
  • Lot Transfer Policy
  • Replacement and Revocation Policy
  • Residential Uses Policy
  • Self-Financed Housing Program Policy