October 5, 2020
Here at the Town of Winter Park, our mission is to create a welcoming year-round community that values sustainable growth. This year has thrown us some unexpected curveballs and highlighted the importance of being resilient. We’re working on many projects to reach these goals and finding solutions to housing challenges is critical to our success.
Ensuring plentiful attainable housing options has a ripple effect on building a strong year-round economy. Ample and diverse housing encourages more people in the area year-round who can build our workforce, solicit local businesses, and contribute to Town tax collections. This leads to more infrastructure and amenities like trails, transportation options, a walkable downtown, etc. then making Winter Park even more enticing for year-round residents.
With this in mind, Winter Park’s Town Council has reaffirmed its focus on creating more workforce housing options for those in the Fraser Valley.
Recently, Town Council has been working with Winter Park Partners, LLC to develop the Fireside Creek complex that would bring 70 new workforce apartment units. Winter Park Partners will manage the complex and rent the apartments. However, the units would be deed-restricted so that only people who work in the area will be eligible to rent in the new complex. Construction is tentatively set to begin next summer.
Hideaway Junction – Phase II
The Town is also making progress with Phase II of the Hideaway Junction project. Details on this development are still in progress, but Council recently approved a grant application through the Department of Local Affairs that would help fund the utility infrastructure for the next phase of units. After those utilities are in place, the Town would look for a development partner to do the full build-out.
While these large projects are in the works, Council is simultaneously laying the foundation for other ways to support housing such as:
- Re-evaluating development agreements that have been in place for many years with particular interest in the affordable housing fees.
- Investigating more opportunities to deed restrict properties, like through accessory dwelling units.
- Budgeting for a housing assessment and housing fees study in 2021.
- Continuing to work with partners on other options for affordable housing enhancement.
More steps and actions on the horizon; we’ll keep you informed as they progress. In the meantime, reach out to Assistant Town Manager Alisha Janes at email@example.com if you have questions about housing initiatives.