When one door closes another opens, the old saying goes. So it was a celebratory moment this week when the City of North Vancouver announced plans to open its doors wide to affordable housing projects.
In particular, the city will be partnering with Hollyburn Family Services and Catalyst – two non-profit housing developers that had the doors to their projects rather unceremoniously slammed in their faces in the neighbouring District of North Vancouver.
While few details are yet available on what’s being considered, it appears that the city would like to salvage as much of the affordable housing those projects have to offer as possible and see how they’d fit – along with a rebuild of North Shore Neighbourhood House – on a sizable chunk of downtown city land.
That’s a move we applaud.
The concept of combining needed services and housing in a very central transit-friendly location makes a lot of sense.
But while the city proposal does seem a natural fit, Delbrook and Burr Place were also great options for this housing. We also note that this housing project could have been in addition to – rather than instead of – those originally proposed by Hollyburn and Catalyst if the district hadn’t pulled in the welcome mat.
Even West Vancouver is plodding along with plans to create a mix of more affordable options – affordable being a very relative concept – on its Gordon Avenue property.
The need for more affordable housing is a situation requiring all hands on deck. That means the district has to step up and do its part.
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