An Open meeting of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing was held in Rooms 104 and 211, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. on Wednesday, 2019 May 15 at 4:00 p.m.































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 4:07 p.m.)

Mr. Beau Jarvis, Member

Mr. Brian McCauley, Member

Mr. Murray Martin, Member

Ms. Kari Michaels, Member

Ms. Claire Preston, Member (arrived at 4:09 p.m.)

Mr. Daniel Tetrault, Member


Dr. Paul Kershaw, Member

Ms. Anne McMullin, Member


Ms. Shauna Sylvester, Centre for Dialogue, SFU

Ms. Michelle Bested, Centre for Dialogue, SFU



Mr. Lambert Chu, City Manager

Mr. Dipak Dattani, Director Corporate Services

  Mr. Ed Kozak, Director Planning and Building

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

  Mr. Jim Wolf, Senior Long Range Planner

  Mr. David Clutton, Long Range Planner

Ms. Margaret Eberle, Housing Consultant

Ms. Kate O’Connell, City Clerk

Ms. Eva Prior, Administrative Officer


The Chair called the Open Task Force meeting to order at 4:00 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.







Minutes of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing

Open meeting held on 2019 May 01                                                     


MOVED BY Councillor Joe keithley

Seconded by Mr. brian mccauley


THAT the minutes of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing Open meeting held on 2019 May 01 be adopted.







His Worship, Mayor Hurley delivered the following opening remarks:


The Interim Report with the 10 Quick Starts was presented to Council on Monday, May 13.  The Quick Starts are a good beginning and I look forward to the work of Council in advancing those early recommendations.


The work we are doing together has significance for the entire region and potentially for other cities across Canada.  I have not found another City that has engaged with their communities as deeply, or with as full a range of perspectives as we have at this table.


This week we launched a public survey to gather feedback on the Quick Starts and the Discussion Guide’s Housing Approaches Pros and Cons.  The survey is part of the continuing public engagement program, Your Voice. Your Home.  The Your Voice. Your Home. Discussion Guide has been shared with Community Recommendations Workshop participants and it is available on the City’s website.

The Community Recommendations Workshop is in 10 days. Workshop participants have been confirmed and we will be welcoming over 100 Burnaby residents and representatives of community organizations for a full day of discussion and deliberation on May 25.


The Task Force members are invited to attend this workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. to hear the community recommendations directly from that group.  I hope to see you there.


Finally, I would like to thank Task Force members for your ongoing commitment to this work. We could not do this without you.  I would like to thank the staff at the Centre for Dialogue for their energy and professionalism.  I also want to acknowledge the significant and ongoing contribution from City staff.  You continue to impress me with your dedication and willingness to understand and meet the needs of this Task Force and by extension, the people of Burnaby. Thank you all.”





Councillor Calendino updated the Task Force members regarding Council’s receipt of the Interim Report.  The speaker spoke to the next steps for the Task Force and the upcoming Community Recommendations Workshop.


*Mr. Paul Holden arrived at 4:07 p.m.*


*Ms. Claire Preston arrived at 4:09 p.m.*






Ms. Sylvester outlined the agenda for the evening.


Ms. Sylvester provided a brief overview of the work accomplished by the Task Force to date and spoke to the process for the remainder of the Task Force meetings. 


The Task Force members were requested to divide into teams of two and share recommendations for the final report.  To facilitate this discussion, the Task Force members were asked “By the end of this process, I will feel good if I can achieve…” and “To do that, I need the following information…”.


The following were responses presented by the Task Force members:


By the end of this process, I will feel good if I can achieve…..

·         Comprehensive, realistic and achievable strategy with a road map to achieve affordability in housing with ‘SMART’ goals:

o   S – Specific

o   M – Measurable

o   A – Achievable

o   R – Realistic

o   T - Timely

·         Must be operationalized to know where we are going and realistic assessment from City staff as to what is required to achieve recommendations;

·         Implementation of all quick starts;

·         Co-ops initiated, rent-to-own, redefine affordability, co-ops allowing areas for tiny homes, people in cars have a safe place to park at night;

·         Tenant relocation policy, what does it look like, balanced approach based on facts and data;

·         All demovicted or potentially demovicted people are taken care of;

·         Short and long-term solutions, policies that work – execute recommendations and make a difference;

·         Roadmap for affordable housing diversity for community housing sectors;

·         Robust tenant assistance/relocation policy that addresses the needs of tenants facing eviction and demovictions;

·         Agreement on root causes;

·         Clear path from the Planning Department;

·         Clear expectations and policies;

·         More housing opportunities in under-utilized transit routes and arterials;

·         Achieve long and short-term solutions with specific delivery dates;

·         Policies that really work – Can we execute it? Will it really work?

·         Create the right housing type for all people, no matter their socio-economic background;

·         A clear strategy in place to facilitate affordable housing in Burnaby; and

·         Housing strategy that assists Burnaby residents and employees find suitable housing in a livable community.


To do that, I need the following information…..

·         Funding and where it will come from;

·         How to make it feasible – require further analysis taking into account all stakeholders;

·         Require a deeper level of analysis to explore the unintended consequences;

·         Inventory of land available for redevelopment, need information on how it has been used;

·         More information on City powers and land economics;

·         Clear policies and bylaws, acceptance from the Task Force members and Council

·         Revision of Official Community Plan;

·         Need to hold people accountable and evidence that it is working;

·         Inventory of City and public lands available for development/redevelopment outside of market housing;

·         Data regarding tenant assistance policy, how it is being used and where;

·         Definitions of planning acronyms;

·         A path forward for Council to assist people living in and moving to Burnaby;

·         Additional support from other levels of government; and

·         Agreement on the root causes of the issues.





The Task Force members were presented with a summary of Burnaby Housing Principles and the Guiding Principles from the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing Terms of Reference.  The principles are fundamental values or rules that represent what is desirable for the City, to assist with determining outcomes of implemented actions.  Principles are more basic than policy and objectives, and are meant to govern both.


Summary of Burnaby Housing Principles and reference documents:


1.    Burnaby provides a varied range and mix of housing opportunities to accommodate a diversity of household types, sizes, and incomes.

·         This principle is referenced in the Official Community Plan (OCP), Housing Policy (HP), Social Sustainability Strategy (SSS), and the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).


2.    Burnaby works to ensure a sufficient supply of affordable and special needs housing.

·         This principle is referenced in the OCP and HP.


3.    Burnaby pursues partnerships with other levels of government, non-profit societies, and the private sector for construction of affordable housing.

·         This principle is referenced in Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) and the HP.


4.    Burnaby is an inclusive community that serves a diverse population and treats people fairly and with dignity.

·         This principle is referenced in the CSP and SSS.


5.    Burnaby is committed to creating and sustaining the best quality of life for the entire community; it strives to enhance neighbourhood livability and promote compact, complete communities.

·         This principle is referenced in the OCP, HP, CSP, SSS and the RGS.


6.    Burnaby promotes a philosophy of citizenship and participation, and involves residents in planning the types and location of housing.

·         This principle is referenced in the OCP and SSS.


7.    Burnaby supports the rights of tenants and seeks to minimize the impacts of redevelopment on existing tenancies. 

·         This principle is referenced in the Tennant Assistance Policy.






Terms of Reference Guiding Principles:


1.    Ensure Burnaby provides opportunities for persons across all income levels, ages and abilities, to live and work in the City.


2.    Recognize the importance of maintaining a diverse community and create a space where all are welcome.


3.    Ensure that families of all sizes and types and needs have a place in Burnaby.


4.    Ensure that new housing will strengthen neighbourhoods, bring people together, and build an even more sustainable community.


5.    Work collaboratively with all levels of government, businesses and the community to achieve positive results.


After reviewing the current Housing Principles, the Task Force was requested to identify additional principles, not covered by lists provided.


The following principles were ideas discussed by the Task Force:


·         Public land is reserved for public benefit

·         Public assets stay public, to benefit the public (broader than just land)

·         Density bonuses are provided in exchange for public benefit

·         Add density to create non-market housing for public benefit (addition for non-market housing)

·         Alignment with United Nations declaration on ‘Housing as a Human Right’

·         Everyone deserves a place to live that is safe, secure and that they can afford

·         Housing is a home first, not a speculative commodity

·         Clear definition of housing (to include apartment, etc)

·         Focus first on the most vulnerable people in the community

·         Acknowledge and support both tenant and landlord rights

·         Supporting landlords with maintaining housing stock

·         In pursuit of community housing increase green, sustainable building to mitigate climate change

·         Housing continuum, define the needs of residents – seniors, families (co-housing), acting on their needs and meeting the diverse needs of the people in Burnaby

·         Housing that is affordable stays affordable (identified under critical path discussion)





Ms. Sylvester provided an overview of eight societal trends and their possible impacts on housing in Burnaby over the next 30 years.


The following eight trends were presented.  The bullet points under each trend were comments added by the Task Force:


1.    Future of Work

·         Need for more affordable housing

·         More flexible living and work spaces

·         Less demand for single family homes


2.    Climate Change and Energy Transition

·         High impact on housing

·         Require adaptations to increase resilience

·         Increase in construction costs


3.    Technological Advances

·         Drive new solutions for more sustainable and cost-effective housing


4.    Sharing Economy

·         Highly likely to impact housing

·         Impact of short-term rentals will depend on policies and regulations introduced


5.    Demographic Shifts

·         High impact on housing

·         Accommodation of seniors and increasing demand for health services


6.    Growing Urbanization/Governance

·         High impact on housing as land prices increase in urban areas

·         Regulatory powers of local governments will become increasingly more important


7.    Growing Inequality

·         Expected to impact affordability

·         Solutions will be required to help people move across the housing continuum


8.    Local Trends

·         Affordability will negatively impact families

·         People will have fewer children

·         Live further apart, leading to isolation



The Task Force identified Social Alienation and Loneliness as an additional trend.

*Ms. Claire Preston left the room at 5:02 p.m. and returned at 5:06 p.m.*





The Task Force members were shown seven videos on different housing form options. The videos provided information on 3D printed homes, mortgage assistance in Toronto, government housing in Singapore, affordable housing preservation in the City of New York, missing middle housing forms in Vancouver, Cooperative Housing, and co-living (pod sharing).  


The Task Force members divided in groups of four and brainstormed ideas on creative housing projects for Burnaby.





THAT the Open Task Force meeting do now recess.


                                                                                                            CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


The Open Task Force meeting recessed at 5:57 p.m.





THAT the Open Task Force meeting do now reconvene.


                                                                                                            CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


The Open Task Force meeting reconvened at 6:50 p.m. in Room 211.





The Task Force members presented the following innovative ideas for housing programs identified during their brainstorming session:


·         Green buildings

·          Low cost

·         Three or four storey modular housing

·         Mix of 300 square foot studios  to 1,500 square feet 3 bedroom units

·         Safe parking lots for people living in cars

·         Temporary

·         Provide public washrooms

·         Partner with churches, legions, large box stores

·         Tax exemptions/incentives for landlords who

·         Preserve/maintain existing rental buildings

·         Provide long-term low income housing


·         City rental housing registry

·         Vetted landlords

·         Tenant advocate

·         Legal support

·         Increase density on single family blocks

·         Single family homes to multiple family homes

·         Expression of interest to see if blocks/neighbourhoods self-identify

·         Cooperative housing on school sites

·         Create housing above new school sites

·         Create housing above City amenities e.g. community centres with housing component

·         Row housing in transit corridors

·         Housing financing options (similar to Toronto)

·         Allow increased density on large lots

·         Worker co-housing on industrial lands

·         Relax zoning to allow for tri-plexes, four-plexes and six-plexes

·         Co-housing (not pods)

·         Shared equity

·         City increases density to reduce rental costs

·         Density held by City in a land trust

·         That 100% of Density Bonus Program funds collected in Metrotown be designated for the Metrotown Housing Fund

·         Portfolio for land trust

·         Registry for Metrotown with affordable units reserved for displaced tenants

·         Reduce 18 hole golf courses to 9 holes and utilize remaining land for housing

·         Houseboats on Burnaby waterways


*Mr. Beau Jarvis left the meeting at 7:06 p.m. and did not return.





Ms. Sylvester led a discussion requesting the Task Force members identify “Table of Contents” items for the final report.  The following arose from discussion:


·         Separation of mainstream initiatives and pilot projects

·         Robust Tenant Relocation Policy

·         Houses are homes first, shift in direction

·         City support for tenants (e.g. navigation of rental system)

·         Acknowledgement of ‘missing middle’, more affordable family oriented housing for middle income households

·         Summary of issues

·         Where Burnaby stands right now

·         What are the priorities

·         What is the baseline

·         How will issues be address and in what order

·         Definition of terms, include a glossary

·         Redefine affordability

·         Presented in plain language, convey information clearly and logically

·         Solutions that engage the public, private sector and the community

·         Greater transparency on consultation and development

·         Identify the number of renters impacted by development

·         Executive summary

·         Mayor’s cover letter, outlining City’s commitment

·         What we require from other levels of government to maximize recommendations

·         Communication plan on accountability/reporting out

·         Updates regarding steps Council is taking to initiate recommendations

·         Include Community recommendations from surveys and workshops

·         Burnaby housing needs and forms

·         Principles, vision statement

·         Plan for the future, future trends

·         Pilot project ideas, plan for the future

·         Appendix of case studies, lessons from other jurisdictions

·         Process design

·         Quick starts


The Task Force and staff will continue to collaborate on the final report.






Ms. Sylvester reviewed future topics and planned workshops for the remainder of Task Force meetings outlining key dates and deliverables. 





Ms. Sylvester requested that the Task Force members provide a descriptor on how they are feeling at this point in the process.  The following were received:


·         Great;

·         Positive and optimistic;

·         Good, moving forward;

·         Positive;

·         Doing very well;

·         Hopeful;

·         Sense of accomplishment and satisfaction;

·         Proud of accomplishments;

·         Encouraged, everyone’s ideas are being considered;

·         Feeling better; and

·         Moving forward.






Seconded by MR. paul HOLDEN


THAT this Open Task Force meeting do now adjourn.




The Open Task Force meeting adjourned at 7:44 p.m.







Councillor Pietro Calendino


Kate O’Connell

City Clerk





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