Thursday, October 25, 2018

The ideal areas to build affordable housing for families and seniors in Langley City

When people talk about creating affordable communities, housing is generally what comes to people’s minds. While providing affordable housing is a critical component of the affordability equation, so is providing affordable transportation options.

Affordable transportation options include walking, cycling, and public transit.

Based on this fact, Metro Vancouver created a housing and transportation cost burden map. The map shows that people who live near public transit can have a lower cost of living. The provincial government also has a handy calculator which shows how various housing and transportation combination can impact affordability.

A map of transportation costs in Metro Vancouver by census area. Select map to enlarge. Source: Metro Vancouver.

Given the critical link between transportation and affordability, I created a rough map that shows where in Langley City is within a 10-minute walk of frequent transit. It is these areas where the City needs to focus on encouraging affordable housing options.

The map includes some areas that are industrial lands, which are protected from general urban development, but it should give a rough idea of the area within a 10-minute walk of higher-quality transit.

Affordable housing can mean many different things to people. There are three areas that Langley City could focus on when it comes to affordability: working with nonprofits and BC Housing to provide subsidized housing for low-income seniors, working with the Metro Vancouver Regional District to support subsidized housing for families, and zoning certain areas for rental-only. These should all be within the 10-minute walking zone.

Over the next year or so, council will be working on updating our official community plan and zoning. This map will be on my mind when it comes to conversations around affordability.

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