Exploring the Formation of One, All Encompassing Hornby Housing Society
~ BC Housing recently announced provincial funding for $1.9 billion for affordable rental housing to be rolled out over 10 years. The first round for this highly competitive funding concludes in September, 2018.
~ ISLA has an application soon to be submitted to BC Housing for rental units at Beulah Creek.
~ This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a project of this scale happen on Hornby Island. ISLA explored a host of development options; among the models considered, partnering with BC Housing to create rental homes emerged as the most financially feasible for the society while remaining affordable for residents.
~ The BC Housing Director of Regional Development met with board members of both ISLA and Hornby Elder Housing (EH) on the island in August of last year. He was thoroughly impressed with the work of our two societies and is a strong and influential advocate for adding to Hornby’s stock of rental housing through the Beulah Creek project.
~ BC Housing has strongly recommended that EH and ISLA join forces to form one housing society. Their rationale is that dealing with more than one housing society in a community with a population of only 1000 is redundant and inefficient. In the eyes of BC Housing, the formation of one society for Hornby would considerably strengthen ISLA’s application for funding. As well, EH has a long history of successfully managing rental housing – a skill that BC Housing requires in an applicant. In the fiercely competitive application process for government money every effort to submit the strongest proposal has to be considered.
~ As a result, EH and ISLA are in the process of exploring the formation of one housing society for Hornby. We are examining the potential for coming together from all angles – exploring the pros and cons while doing our legal, financial and ethical due diligence. Our two boards are in agreement that the potential benefits of becoming one society are promising and that we should actively investigate that goal. We are committed to ensuring that life for the residents of the Elder Housing Village would not be affected in any way. Both boards, through their in-depth analysis of the risks and benefits, will ensure this condition is met before making any determination regarding support for this initiative.
The society will have two distinct projects: The Elder Housing Village and The Beulah Creek Village. Elder Housing will change the society name to The Hornby Island Housing Society, to better reflect the broader resident population. The two boards will join forces to manage the two distinct projects, serving elders at Elder Housing Village and all ages at Beulah Creek.
~ Following are additional benefits foreseen by forming one society:
- Simplifying the Hornby housing picture provides a more streamlined approach for provincial and municipal funding requests while eliminating the competitive aspect of two societies seeking government money.
- Economies of scale. Built into the budget for Beulah Creek are ongoing paid positions supporting the project – maintenance worker, bookkeeper/accountant, operations manager. Having these professional roles and resources available to both communities would free the board to devote its time and energy to governance and policy making. This would reduce the burden that comes with the many operational tasks required of the present volunteer board and for future board members.
An information meeting for members of the two societies is planned for 2:30pm Sunday, June 24th at New Horizons. The meeting will be announced in local papers.
Upon completion of due diligence, if both boards conclude that the forming of one society best supports the housing needs of Hornby residents, Special General Meetings of ISLA and Elder Housing will be held to vote on motions in support of this collaboration.
We encourage you to contact our board members if you have any questions or concerns so that we may address them prior to the information meeting.