The Housing NOW Project

In gratitude, The Housing NOW Project acknowledges that we live, work, and learn on the traditional unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, the W̱SÁNEĆ, and Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group including Tsawout, Tseycum, Tsartlip, Pauquachin, Penelakut, Hwlitsum, Lelum Sar Augh Ta Naogh, Lyackson, and others. 

We express our gratitude to the past, present, and future – the ancestors, hereditary leaders and matriarchs for their care of the rich resources and cultural teachings of these unique and beautiful Islands. The Community Resource Centre and the Housing NOW Project commit to creating respectful and reciprocal working relationships with the First Peoples, Métis and Inuit to the benefit of all who reside or visit this place.

About the Project

In February 2018, the CRD published the Southern Gulf Islands Housing Needs Assessment. This assessment noted the “serious shortages in secure, appropriate and affordable housing for low to moderate-income earners,” and that “renters are particularly impacted as their incomes are insufficient to enter the homeownership market, and the limited number of rental properties are increasingly vacant seasonally or placed in the vacation rental market.”

This year, thanks to the SGI CRC and its partners, we’re taking it one step further—with a project that helps us understand the needs of our community members who are looking for affordable, and flexible housing options. The SGI Housing NOW Project will allow us to explore innovative ways to meet this housing crisis.

In a region with a high population of seniors, and recent retirees, as well as a thriving seasonal tourist trade, housing for low- and middle-income earners is essential for the community to function both year-round and in the high pitch of summer. 

The summer months are of significant consequence as the lack of accommodations for seasonal employees negatively impacts the general economy and functionality of community-owned and operated businesses. Community members have strongly described the housing situation as bordering on crisis, and as having serious impacts on themselves and their families, community well-being, and economic sustainability.

The SGI Housing NOW Project: an initiative of the SGI CRC and the SGI Community Economic Sustainability Commission (CESC), as well as several Gulf Island housing movements, has begun  to collect data from community members about what they need from their housing situations—and how our communities can help them meet those needs NOW. Through this relationship building, we will gain a clear understanding of what is necessary to support the success of any housing initiative in the SGIs and to aid in the creation of alternative housing solutions for seasonal employees.

2024 Aspirations

Fostering Community Through Homeshare: A Comprehensive Plan for the Southern Gulf and Salt Spring Islands

In response to the pressing housing needs of the Southern Gulf and Salt Spring Islands, we will further the development and continued implementation of a more robust Homeshare Registry Program. Our vision is not only to provide practical housing solutions but also to foster a sense of community and interconnectedness among residents.

This year HN will be focused on:

1. Community Circle Meetings: These meetings will serve as platforms for open discussions, where community members can voice their concerns, suggestions, and expectations.

2. Surveys and Direct Outreach: Conduct surveys and host focus sessions to gather detailed insights into the homeshare housing needs and preferences of different demographic groups within the community. This information will inform the continued development and implementation of the program.

3. Online Platforms and Social Media Campaigns: Launch an extensive online presence through social media platforms, dedicated websites, and community forums. Quarterly newsletter, informative articles, and success stories will be shared to engage residents and encourage participation in the program.

4. Collaboration with Local Media Outlets: Partner with local periodicals, radio, and online news portals to increase media coverage of the Homeshare Registry Program. This collaboration will help raise awareness, reach a wider audience, and garner support from the community.

5. Housing App Development: Develop a user-friendly housing app that connects homeowners with potential tenants or the HN Team. The app will feature detailed profile applications of both parties, including housing preferences, availability, and compatibility factors. Users can search, filter, and streamline the homesharing process and will enhance accessibility for all participants.

6. Partnerships with Local Employers: Forge partnerships with local employers to address their housing needs for seasonal and long-term employees. By collaborating with businesses, we can identify housing opportunities, offer incentives for homeowners, and ensure a stable housing environment for employees. This partnership aligns with our goal of supporting local businesses and promoting sustainable economic development.

7. ‘Finding Resolutions’ Initiative: Develop a comprehensive resource guide titled ‘Finding Resolutions,’ which compiles conflict resolution and mediation resources for participants in the Homeshare Registry Program. This guide will include practical tips, contact information for mediators, and strategies for resolving disputes amicably. By empowering Registry participants with the necessary tools and support systems, we aim to minimize conflicts and maintain harmonious homesharing arrangements.

Through extensive community engagement, innovative technology solutions, strategic partnerships, and conflict resolution resources, we are committed to creating a thriving environment where residents can find affordable housing, build meaningful connections, and collectively contribute to the well-being of our communities, in 2024.

Housing Reports

In 2022, the Community Economic Sustainability Commission and the CRD Board adopted the Southern Gulf Islands Housing Strategy, an important step in the creation of housing opportunities here in the Southern Gulf Islands.

If you would like to discover more about these studies please, click on the links below to read the full documents:

In the spring of 2023, additional support was provided to Housing NOW by the Southern Gulf Island Tourism Partnership Society.  This collaborative partnership has allowed for the continued development and implementation of the HN Homeshare Registry on the Islands of Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring, and Saturna –  assisting our communities in addressing some of our more immediate workforce housing needs.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Southern Gulf Island Tourism Partnership Society and their work towards building a more balanced visitor economy and experience in the Southern Gulf Islands, please visit the SGITPS website.

The Southern Gulf Island Community Resource Centre and the Housing NOW Registry Program are committed to protecting your privacy. The SGICRC and Housing NOW collect, use, and disclose your personal information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) as well as other applicable legislation. Our Privacy Policies can be found here.

Southern Gulf Islands CESC Community Economic Sustainability Commission
Turquoise coloured connected CRD letters
Southern Gulf Islands Text