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General News · 16th November 2023
Elaine Popove
At the Regional Board meeting on Wednesday, November 8th, approval was given to proceed with an alternative approval process (AAP) for Bylaws No. 512 and 515 which would establish a regional housing service and authorize borrowing of up to $10 million for that purpose. If approved, the Regional District would be able to address a variety of housing challenges in the region including seniors housing, workforce housing, and other social housing issues either directly or in partnership with third parties such as housing societies.

Key features of the proposed regional housing service include:

• The service could be used to invest in workforce housing, seniors housing, and other forms of housing.
• The service would apply throughout the SRD to be used only where there is a need and demonstrated public benefit.
• The anticipated return on investment would be unique to each project and would be assessed before public funds are committed.
• The SRD would not automatically borrow capital funds or incur debt, but the borrowing authority would provide a source of capital when and if needed.
• The SRD could enter into agreements with housing societies and other entities to develop housing solutions that are customized to community needs and conditions.

“This is an important initiative for the region which is facing a multitude of housing challenges that cannot be easily solved by traditional private market solutions” stated SRD Chair Mark Baker. “I am hopeful that the public will agree with the approach being proposed by the Regional District and will support this important initiative,” he said.

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is used to gauge support and obtain legislative approval from electors and is often favoured due to its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional voting referenda. For the regional housing service to be approved, it requires that less than 10% of qualified electors throughout the Strathcona Regional District (34,560 electors) submit an objection through an elector response form.

The AAP will run for 55 days and is scheduled to close at 12:00 noon on January 2, 2024. At the conclusion of the AAP, if at least 3,456 qualified electors (10% of the electors in the SRD) have submitted written objections to the bylaws, the Regional Board will not be able to adopt the bylaws without first obtaining elector approval through a voting process.

Additional information about the proposed regional housing service and elector response forms can be found at

Media Contact
Dave Leitch, Chief Administrative Officer 250-830-6703

Elaine Popove
Communications Coordinator