An Open meeting of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing was held in Room 103, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. on Wednesday, 2019 February 27 at 4:00 p.m. followed by a Closed meeting from which the public was excluded. 































Councillor Pietro Calendino, Chair

His Worship, Mayor Mike Hurley, Vice Chair

Councillor Sav Dhaliwal, Member

Councillor Joe Keithley, Member

Councillor James Wang, Member

Mr. Thom Armstrong, Member

Mr. Mike Bosa, Member

Mr. Patrick Buchannon, Member

Ms. Lois Budd, Member

Mr. Paul Holden, Member (arrived at 4:03 p.m.)

Mr. Beau Jarvis, Member

Dr. Paul Kershaw, Member

Ms. Anne McMullin, Member

Mr. Murray Martin, Member

Ms. Kari Michaels, Member

Ms. Claire Preston, Member

Mr. Daniel Tetrault, Member


Mr. Brian McCauley, Member (due to illness)


Ms. Shauna Sylvester, Centre for Dialogue

Ms. Michelle Bested, Centre for Dialogue

Mr. Robin Prest, Centre for Dialogue


Mr. Lambert Chu, City Manager

  Mr. Ed Kozak, Deputy Director Planning and Building

  Ms. Lee-Ann Garnett, Asst. Director – Long Range Planning

  Ms. Lily Ford, Planner 2 – Housing

  Mr. David Clutton, Long Range Planner

Ms. Margaret Eberle, Housing Consultant

Ms. Trish Webb, Communications Consultant

Ms. Kate O’Connell, City Clerk

Ms. Eva Prior, Administrative Officer 1


The Chair called Open Task Force meeting to order at 4:01 p.m.


The Chair acknowledged the unceded, traditional, and ancestral lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking people, and extended appreciation for the opportunity to hold a meeting on this shared Coast Salish territory.


*Paul Holden arrived at the meeting at 4:03 p.m.*





His Worship, Mayor Mike Hurley delivered the following welcome:


“Welcome to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the launch of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing.


You are each here because of your experience and expertise, and because you are known for getting things done.


-          People need homes now, and there is no time to lose.


-          In addition to the expertise around the table, we will also seek out the expertise and experience of Burnaby residents from all parts of our city and all walks of life.


-          For Burnaby, this approach to public engagement is somewhat new because we are putting the voices of the people whose needs we are trying to meet right at the centre of things.


-          We are also doing everything we can to remove barriers so that voices we do not often hear are at the table. 


-          We are asking the community for their thoughts through Your Home, Your Voice, the public engagement program running over the next four months starting with the survey we launched on 2019 February 21.


-          Ideas and input from the public that we gather through the Survey and the Public Ideas Workshop on March 6 will be forwarded to you.


-          Later in the process we will ask the public for their recommendations on trade-offs and solutions, and those will also be given to you.  When you have heard from the public, considered the best practices of other local communities, and deliberated amongst yourselves, your recommendations will come to Council.


-          Throughout the process I want to make sure we are open and transparent so people can see how their input is used and know that we are listening. 


-          In designing the public engagement process, we approached one of our partners in Burnaby, Simon Fraser University (SFU).  SFU hosts the only centre for dialogue and engagement in the world and they are leaders in designing and delivering authentic public engagement processes.  This team, which is led by Robin Prest, has worked with me and our staff in co-designing Your Voice, Your Home.  I’m pleased that they are with us tonight.


-          I have made a personal commitment to address the housing crisis and to do it in a way that puts people and their needs first.  My commitment to Burnaby is to build a community for all residents.


-          Over the past decade or more, Burnaby has seen a lot of development.  We built a lot of bedrooms over the years, but is it the right mix for the community? Does it meet the needs of all our residents through all the stages of life throughout the community? Will it help make Burnaby the best place in BC for families?


-          We need to make sure that as we continue to grow, we have the right kinds of housing for all of us.  And we need to ensure that we build a community, not just condos and houses.  We will succeed if we are able to innovate and find solutions that work here, for us.


-          I know this is a big job and a lot to ask of you. That’s why we put together a made-in-Burnaby “Care Package” with some practical items to support you through this process, and a few sweets to remind you that we care about all the hard work you are doing for us. And it all fits nicely in your new Burnaby briefcase.


-          Before I hand things over to Councillor Calendino to chair this meeting, I want to ensure you know how much I appreciate your commitment, your time and your energy.


-          Thank you for serving the people of Burnaby through this Task Force.  I do not expect this to be easy, but I do expect you to find new ways forward that will be truly innovative.


-          I look forward to seeing results, and I know a lot of other people are looking for that too.


-          Thank You.”


Councillor Pietro Calendino delivered the following welcome:


“Thank you Mayor Hurley for your vision and leadership on this subject and thank you for appointing me to chair this Task Force. I am truly honoured.


Like the Mayor, I wish to welcome all of you to this Task Force and thank you for the commitment you are making to serve the people of Burnaby.


I am pleased to see many familiar faces and some not so familiar. And I am confident that we can all work together to arrive at a made in Burnaby solution to the housing crisis that is facing us.


We are at a unique time in history. We all know that this housing situation is not unique to Burnaby or to Metro Vancouver, and that it is, indeed, a worldwide phenomenon.


It used to be that people moved from Vancouver to Burnaby to find an affordable place to buy or rent. Unfortunately, it is no longer so.


Today working people, and people with modest means, are being squeezed out of the housing market, be it ownership or rental. This has a negative impact on families, children, seniors, people with disabilities, and businesses who are finding it difficult to fill vacancies because potential workers can’t find an affordable place to live.


Therefore, I think that a full spectrum of housing types and affordability must be essential components of the new framework.


Burnaby Council, and most of all Burnaby residents, are looking at this group of experts to assist us to come up with creative and innovative ways of alleviating the housing crisis that we face today and hopefully in the short term.


And I am confident that we can do it! Because I believe that working together in a respectful environment, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that it is possible to come up with solutions that will meet the housing needs of all the people in Burnaby.


We already have positive signs of cooperation from the development community and promising commitments from senior levels of government, and that works in our favour.


In order to ensure that each of us can participate and bring our best thinking and ideas to the table, we’ve moved out of our conventional committee approach and asked Shauna Sylvester to serve as our Task Force Facilitator.


Shauna is the Executive Director of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and has been facilitating for over 30 years, working with local governments on housing, transportation, energy and financing.


Shauna knows Burnaby well.  She was a student here from Grade 2 to Grade 9 and graduated from SFU. I will stop here and inform you that to assist us in navigating the array of housing options, we have engaged members of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue to be with us.


I will maintain order and give a summary of the main points of the discussion at the conclusion of each meeting.


Thank you for your attention!”







Ms. Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University welcomed the public and the Task Force members to the first Task Force meeting.


Ms. Sylvester initiated an introductory round where each Task Force member was asked to identify their name, what they have to offer, what they want to take away from the process, and one pressing question.


The composition of the Task Force is diverse, including representation from housing advocates, local unions, co-operative housing organizations, developers, builders, renters and Council members. The following were responses brought forward by the Task Force members during introductions:





What Task Force members offer:

·         Experience as renters;

·         Dialogue with residents;

·         Housing solutions;

·         Development perspective;

·         City policy development experience;

·         Lower income resident perspectives;

·         Housing policy experience;

·         Teachers, students and families perspectives;

·         Business community perspectives; and

·         Burnaby labour force perspective.


Take away from process:

·         Collaboration;

·         Ability to report back to Burnaby residents;

·         Leaders in the region;

·         Cohesive plan;

·         Achieving sustainable affordability;

·         Immediate initiatives;

·         Fairness in housing;

·         Ideas into actions;

·         Result driven initiatives;

·         Fulsome report;

·         Willingness to be leaders in housing initiatives; and

·         Building consensus.



·         How do we facilitate meaningful dialogue?

·         How do we make Burnaby affordable now?

·         How do we implement initiatives and actions?

·         Can the initiatives be applied regionally?


Ms. Sylvester presented a summation of the experience and the desires of the Task Force members to collaborate and build a plan to address housing in Burnaby.


Ms. Sylvester reiterated that the Task Force will seek to advance Burnaby’s desire to address housing affordability issues by providing advice and information to Council on innovative policies, directions and specific initiatives, within the City’s jurisdiction, to increase the supply and diversity of affordable housing.




















Task Force Terms of Engagement

Presenter: Ms. Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director,

                   Centre for Dialogue, SFU



Ms. Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University  reviewed the mandate of the Task Force, as outlined in the Terms of Reference.


Ms. Sylvester facilitated discussion on the Terms of Engagement for the Task Force members. Through discussion, the Task Force identified the following  Terms of Engagement:


·         Bring your expertise;

·         Step up and step back;

·         Bring total respect to the table, and listen to views;

·         Bring and explore all ideas;

·         Willing to disagree without becoming disagreeable;

·         Work from fact-based information;

·         Allow space for reflection;

·         Don’t take things personally; and

·         Listen to understand and not just to respond.


A formalized Terms of Engagement will be provided to the Task Force members at the next meeting.



Public Engagement Process – Centre for Dialogue, SFU

Presenters: Robin Prest, Program Director, Civic Engage

   Michelle Bested, Manager, Engagement and

   Social Enterprise


Mr. Robin Prest, Program Director, Civic Engage, and Ms. Michelle Bested, Manager, Engagement and Social Enterprise, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University presented a PowerPoint entitled, Meeting the Housing Needs of Burnaby Residents. Mr. Prest and Ms. Bested with support from the City’s Planning and Building Department will lead the Civic Engagement process.


The Civic Engagement process has been developed to allow for diverse and reflective participation to identify what matters most for Burnaby residents.  The facilitators and City staff will work with the community to create informed recommendations and integrate community engagement with deliberations by the Task Force.

Public engagement will be undertaken in two Phases:


Phase 1 – Generating Ideas will consist of an online ‘Idea’ survey, digital engagement, targeted community outreach, a community ideas workshop and a What We Heard report.


Phase 2 – Trade-offs and Solutions will consist of a ‘Quick Starts’ survey, discussion guide, a Public Recommendations Workshop and Public Recommendations report.


Residents are recognized as active partners in the process, bringing unique knowledge and contributions to inform the decision-making process.  Participation will be sought from traditionally underserved communities and diverse groups to ensure that the engagement processes are inclusive.


Task Force members raised questions regarding the date, time, location and sought clarification on public participation approached in relation to the planned public engagement activities.  The facilitator provided details regarding the process, outlining the two community engagement workshops as follows:


1. Community Ideas Workshop

Wednesday - March 06, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre

Participation of 150 residents through a pre-registration process


2. Community Recommendations Workshop

Saturday – May 25, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Participation of 100 residents through a pre-registration process


In conclusion, the Public Engagement Process will bring together a diverse group of community members to share ideas, present recommendations and engage with one another to find workable solutions.





THAT the Task Force do now recess for 5 minutes.




The Task Force recessed at 5:07 p.m.








THAT the Task Force do now reconvene.


                                                                                                CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


The Task Force reconvened at 5:13 p.m. 



Burnaby Housing Overview

Presenters: Lee-Ann Garnett, Assistant Director Long Range Planning



Ms. Lee-Ann Garnett, Assistant Director Long Range Planning, presented an overview of housing in Burnaby entitled “A Housing Story”.  The presentation provided a brief history of housing, as well as basic housing data.


“A Housing Story” walked the Task Force members through the history of home ownership, forms of housing, and how policy changes at all levels of government (Federal, Provincial, Municipal) have impacted housing accessibility over the years. In the past, with the support of complimentary Provincial and Federal Government initiatives, Burnaby was able to provide a balance of accessible housing options to seniors, families and lower/fixed income residents.


The withdrawal of Federal Government lending programs, transformation of Burnaby from a suburb to a City and the increase of multifamily housing through the Regional Growth Strategy, have all impacted the balance of housing options.


To address current and projected housing affordability and access issues, Council requested staff review the Tenant Assistance Policy, implement new rental zoning policies, and review proposed changes to single and two family zones that would facilitate the creation rental units such as secondary suites and laneway homes. The establishment of the Task Force was also a priority initiative to explore strategies for improving housing affordability and access.


The presenter referenced the Burnaby Housing Fact Sheet, providing an overview of Burnaby household statistical information and noted that the City does not currently have a Needs Assessment.


Over the coming months, the Task Force will begin to identify gaps in housing types, gaps for purchasers, renters and families, and gaps in policy funding programs and processes. These gaps will be identified through discussions and the Public Engagement Process.



Following the presentation, Ms. Garnett, Assistant Director – Long Range Planning and Mr. Ed Kozak, Deputy Director Planning and Building fielded questions from the Task Force members regarding the presented information.






Ms. Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University facilitated an opportunity for Task Force members to write down questions for staff as a result of the “A Housing Story” and the Burnaby Housing Fact Sheet.  These questions were collected, and staff will undertake to provide the requested information.

The following is a summation of the questions raised by the Task Force members:



·         How many people rent?

·         How many of the high rises built since 2011 are purpose-built rental?

·         Secondary rental market for strata and housing estimates of private rental units, how is that determined?

·         How many purpose-built rentals are presently in the Metrotown area?

·         Please define ‘non-market’ housing.

·         Why are flex suites only at SFU?

·         How many rental units/homes are in the process?

·         Are the 51 projects listed in the handouts already approved?

·         What are the statistics related to secondary market rental units?

·         What percentage of rental units have more than 2 bedrooms and rent for under $1,146 per month? Or for under $1,675 per month?

·         What is the number of entire units used for short-term rentals?




·         What portion of Community Amenity Contributions is set aside for housing needs?

·         How much cash is in city deposits for housing through Community Amenity Contributions?

·         How much money is collected in Community Amenity Contributions over the last 10 years?

·         How much Community Amenity Contribution money has been set aside or was collected for housing?

·         How much Community Amenity Contributions for housing has been spent?





·         How much land does the City of Burnaby own?

·         What public land (to keep in trust) exists in Burnaby available for new housing?

o   What percentage of residents live on that land?




·         23 different municipalities – what works well and what doesn’t?

·         What percentage of Burnaby land is zoned for single detached/very low density?

·         Why are there no area plans along transit routes of neighbourhood plans?




·         According to BC Assessment, what percentage of Burnaby homes cost less than $500,000 and provide more than two bedrooms?

·         How much housing wealth have home owners accumulated over the last three years?

·         What is the number of empty units or homes?




·         Why so few town homes?

·         What is the minimum size requirement for a studio, one bedroom, two bedrooms etc.?




·         How many seniors’ projects are approved?

·         Is there any designated area for Seniors’ projects or zoning?




·         What will be the effects of modular housing on homelessness numbers and other housing need projections?






The Chair provided a summary of the Open portion of the first meeting of the Task Force and he reiterated the members’ desire for collaboration to attain a solution to meet housing needs of the City.


            MOVED BY Mayor Hurley



THAT the Committee, in accordance with Sections 90 and 92 of the Community Charter, do now resolve itself into a Closed meeting from which the public is excluded to consider matters concerning negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in view of the Council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public; and the consideration of information received and held in confidence relating to negotiations between the municipality and a provincial government or federal government or both, or between a provincial government or the federal government or both and a third party.


                                                                                    CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


The Chair requested members of the Public leave the room, to allow the Task Force to proceed with the Closed portion of the Task Force Meeting.


Without objection, the Task Force recessed for dinner at 6:00 p.m.

















MOVED BY Mayor Mike Hurley



That the Open Task Force Meeting do now reconvene.


                                                                                    CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


MOVED BY MR. paul Holden



That the Open Task Force Meeting do now adjourn.


                                                                                    CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


The Open Task Force meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m.






Councillor Pietro Calendino


Kate O’Connell

City Clerk


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