A motion to establish the Housing and Land Development Advisory Commitee was passed unanimously during city council’s July 11 meeting.
The purpose of this committee, as stated in the terms of reference, is “to discuss issues related to the development of housing within the City of Whitehorse.”
Within the first year of its mandate, the committee is expected to identify “impediments and opportunities” in housing and land development for the city. They will advise on ways to provide additional information and perspectives regarding housing to the general public and report to council on strategic policy issues for achieving progress.
Council appointed Greg Thompson, Dave Irvine, Bryony McIntyre, John Vogt, Suzanne Greening, Joel Gaetz and Simon Lapointe as candidate members based on their experience and expertise in the land and housing development industry.
Mayor Laura Cabbott said she is “quite excited” about the commencement of this new committee.
“This is one initiative council is putting forward to tackle the housing crisis,” she said while emphasizing the fact that the committee is comprised entirely of volunteers who will receive “absolutely no renumeration.”
“These are top-notch citizens stepping up to provide advice and support for their community,” said Cabbott.
They are expected to serve a term of two years and may be reappointed if council extends the term of the committee.
The goal of the selection process was to achieve a balance of perspectives, according to Cabbott.
Thomson is the director of heritage, lands and resources for Kwanlin Dün First Nation. Irvine is the manager of lands, resources and heritage at Ta’an Kwach’an Council. McIntyre works for the Yukon government as the manager of mineral planning and development. Vogt builds homes for a living and has experienced firsthand “how land lottery requirements are pushing builders and many other Yukoners out.”
Greening is currently serving as executive director for Habitat for Humanity Yukon and Gaetz is the CFO of North Star Agriculture. Lapointe is an urban planner and the founder of 3Pikas, a professional planning and design firm based in Whitehorse. He specializes in land development, zoning bylaws and stakeholder engagement.
“I think it’s a fabulous composition,” said Cabbott after listing the credentials of the appointed committee members.
“There’s a lot of responsibility on this committee, and I look forward to them getting down to work and digging into the issues, but as soon as possible bringing back recommendations to this council.”
The budget requirements for the committee have been estimated at $200,000 a year. A budget amendment will be brought forward for council approval once both this and the Inclusivity Advisory Committee are established by law.
Administration is recommending meetings for the Housing and Land Development Advisory Commitee be limited to committee members, staff and invited guests as opposed to using a formal council-style public meeting forum.
The committee will hold public information sessions and invite community members and experts to the meetings. The process and frequency for reporting to council is still to be confirmed.
Contact Magan Carty at email@example.com