Lacombe housing needs studied

Lacombe city council is looking at the housing needs of its citizens.

Lacombe city council is looking at the housing needs of its citizens.

On Monday, council adopted in principle the report, Practices and Policies for a Course Correction: A Housing Strategy for the City of Lacombe, that offered ways to increase the range of housing choices, improve the affordability of housing stock, enhance the sustainability of housing and infrastructure, and maintain a sense of community.

“We are by and large a single-family dwelling community, but 25 per cent of our households are singles so there appears to be a mismatch there in terms of our population demographic and our housing product,” said chief administrative officer Norma MacQuarrie on Wednesday.

“Our vacancy rate is below one per cent so we don’t have rental opportunities for many people who may require that type of housing.”

She said a lot are also paying in excess of 30 per cent of their income on housing.

“The cost of housing in Lacombe is at a point where it’s become unaffordable for some.”

Suggestions in the report to increase housing choice included promoting house sharing, creating builder incentives, amending the municipal development plan, among others.

Ideas to increase affordability included creating a co-op housing program, earmarking sites for affordable housing, providing forgivable loans for secondary suite construction, and more.

Some of the ways to improve sustainability included educating the public on the benefits of energy conservation and efficiency, attracting builders with track records of green building design and construction, offering home energy efficiency rebates.

Options to maintain sense of community included hosting civic engagement opportunities, encouraging the design and building of front porches, requiring new subdivisions to have lanes and rear yard garages, and others.

MacQuarrie said these housing issues are not unique to Lacombe, but what will be unique is how the city meets its challenges.

She said it is critical that the city work with the development community and decide how “leading edge” it wants to become in terms of introducing new and different housing options.

The city will start by reviewing its municipal development plan.

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month