City to strategize in tackling Lacombe’s housing problem

Change is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary.

  • Apr. 17, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Change is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary.

At its regular meeting on April 14, Lacombe council heard from Anna Bubel of Another Way Consulting in a presentation on how the City might be able to increase its housing stock and change the status quo in Lacombe’s housing market.

“We know that these are challenging policy conversations,” said Bubel. “It means a change and people resist change, so it’s not easy.”

At the end of last November council heard Bubel’s initial report that stated Lacombe was in desperate need of increased housing stock and a greater variety of housing products. In particular, low-income housing and multifamily dwellings were scarce in Lacombe and council also heard that the vacancy rate in Lacombe was at less than 1%.

After this had been done, the next step was to have Another Way meet with stakeholders in the community to propose possible strategies on how the City could solve these issues. Two stakeholder consultations workshops were held to devise strategy and also make several recommendations for the City to pursue in the short-term, medium-term and long-term.

These strategies seek to accomplish four outcomes. The objectives are to increase the variety of housing stock in Lacombe, improve the affordability of that housing stock, enhance the sustainability of housing and infrastructure and maintain a sense of community and ‘neighbourliness’ in Lacombe.

In her presentation, Bubel spoke of the risks the City would face if they did not take action. Bubel said if the status quo remains, Lacombe will be outstripped by neighbouring communities growing faster, the number of people in Lacombe’s core housing need will grow, businesses may suffer when hiring if affordable housing is not available for potential workers, the City could run out of serviced land and builders may prefer to operate in centres with greater options.

There are several methods the City can use to accomplish these outcomes. Some of these include creating or promoting existing programs like home sharing, providing incentives for builders or by changing policies, practices and bylaws related to planning and development of new residential areas.

Bubel said the City and council certainly have some important and challenging decisions to make ahead. But, she added that Lacombe is not the first community to face such a problem and therefore does not need to re-invent the wheel to tackle these problems.

“Others have done this work across the country,” said Bubel. She also encouraged council to follow the example of other successful communities to accomplish the necessary goals.

Councillor Grant Harder agreed. He requested to see some examples of strategies used by other communities in order to learn from them.

“I would really like to see some successful ideas, examples from other municipalities,” said Harder. “Things that have worked and maybe even things that have not worked, because we can learn from that as well.”

Bubel said that she had already begun developing such a presentation for the stakeholder consultation workshops and would be happy to share the information with council.

Councillor Reuben Konnik did not seem too enthused with the daunting task ahead, but agreed that change was necessary.

“I think it’s a bit of an understatement when you say, ‘Challenging policy discussions await you,’ we have a hard enough time getting developers to build in Lacombe as it is,” said Konnik “I look forward to seeing where we can go with this, but, challenging is an understatement.”

Council has not decided which strategies they will adopt and which recommendations the City will follow as of yet, but in order for administration to begin exploring options, the proposed strategic plan was accepted in principle.


Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read