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Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes
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Gaining Community Acceptance of Affordable Housing - Don Darling, Prestige Homes

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Don Darling of Prestige Homes presents his views on Affordable housing on May 8 2010 at the NBNPHA Annual Conference.

Don Darling of Prestige Homes presents his views on Affordable housing on May 8 2010 at the NBNPHA Annual Conference.

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Transcript

  • 1.
    • Don Darling Prestige Homes
    Gaining Community Acceptance
  • 2. Outline
    • Company background
    • A recent experience
    • The journey
    • Gaining community acceptance
    • How the community can help
    • How municipalities can help
    • Taking action
  • 3. Company background
    • Prestige Homes is a division of the Shaw Group, one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies.
    • Head quarters are located in Sussex, NB.
    • We build single family and multi family housing, over 11000 since 1973.
    • Full service organization offering support from concept to completion (land planning, design, concept and final building plans, construction management, etc)
  • 4.
    • Our company was approached from a past client, to construct affordable rental units for their non profit housing group.
    • Working within their mandate, we identified an opportunity to construct 24 units in the town of Sussex NB.
    • The non profit housing group is well known to the community and is an excellent landlord.
    • Both parties agreed on terms and the work began in May of 2009.
    Recent example
  • 5. The big issue
    • Nimby
  • 6.
    • Initial council meeting
    • was positive.
    • September 23
    • formal
    • re zoning process
    • started.
    • Next round of land
    • Planning including
    • Engineering, Esa,
    • etc.
    • Work continued on
    • Building designs
    • Full planning now
    • Formal proposal was
    • submitted
    • to government
    • Regular updates
    • Between PH and
    • Proponent.
    • Identified land
    • Developed back up plan
    • Signed agreement
    • (conditional)
    • Contact municipal
    • Leaders to discuss
    • Project.
    • Identify land
    • Re zoning process
    • Designs for buildings
    • Land development
    • Working relationship
    • Project objectives
    • Budgets and timelines
    • May 2009
    Stage 1
  • 7.
    • Now the hard work begins….
    • And this is part of the problem.
  • 8. Supporting municipal leaders
    • We set the stage for professionalism from day one:
      • Letters were written before our initial meeting.
      • Briefing books were prepared for each councilor.
      • A professional initial presentation was made to council with detailed speaking notes.
      • We made a commitment to be proactive to gain public support.
      • We set the stage well on the need within the community for safe, affordable and energy efficient housing.
    • Initial press stories were positive.
    • We went proactive by creating personalized briefing books for neighbors and identified who to contact (exceed the minimum.)
  • 9. Gaining community acceptance
    • I personally delivered briefing books to approximately 25 house holds.
    • Most people were polite, however my detractors set the stage early.
    • I was contacted and invited to a town hall style meeting at a neighbors home.
    • We updated councilors several times through the process.
    • We wrote to service groups in town and major employers asking for help.
  • 10. Use your network
    • I called:
      • Other housing groups across the country.
      • Other municipal, provincial and federal politicians.
      • Several contacts within CMHC.
      • Many people I didn’t even know.
    • If you don’t ask you wont get
    • Social medias are an option (youtube, face book, etc) it goes both ways.
    • Research and be prepared
  • 11. Town hall meetings
    • This approach can be very helpful in terms of getting facts about your project into a public forum.
    • Its important to replace myths with facts.
    • Not all that attend will be reasonable.
    • Its important to stay calm and focused.
    • If you don’t know the answer, commit to responding in a reasonable amount of time.
  • 12. Public meeting
    • We prepared another custom power point presentation and speaking notes.
    • Meeting was well attended.
    • Supporters were quiet.
    • Detractors were vocal and stereotypical arguments were alive (crime, property values, use, planning, to many low income people in one area, etc.)
    • Its important that municipal leaders show support for the project by having a strong understanding of facts and benefits of affordable housing projects.
  • 13. Dealing with the objections
    • Issues:
      • Crime
      • Drugs
      • To many poor people
      • Building height
      • Buffers
      • Fences
      • Better use of the land
      • Property values
  • 14. Hearing of objections
    • We need a name change (this meeting was held late November.)
    • The council chamber was full.
    • All letters are read by town clerk.
    • Two of our non supporters were so extreme, I believe they took themselves out of a rational discussion.
    • I struggled with responding to some of the misleading information in some letters and decided to tell my story.
    • Question? Is there a better process
  • 15.
    • “Being a leader is having the courage to make important decisions, especially in the face of opposition.”
    • “Those who oppose a project can present themselves as representatives of the larger population”
  • 16. Check in
    • At this stage we are 7 months into the process.
    • We have dedicated significant resources working on a potential project.
    • We still didn’t have zoning or funding for the project.
  • 17. Lessons
    • Have a good plan
    • Be prepared to work hard
    • Use your network
    • Spread the facts
    • It has to get easier as most would give up
    • Be professional
  • 18. Key Success
    • That the concerns raised by some in the community are avoided and or dealt with.
    • Don’t make promises we can’t keep.
    • Have a solid plan for maintenance and engagement of tenants.
    • Everyone will be watching.
  • 19. As of today
    • The first buildings are now under construction.
    • Land development will start late June.
    • Project should be completed by the fall.
    • It has been 12 months since we started working on the project.
  • 20. Recommended solutions
    • Reduce / eliminate government imposed costs such as:
        • Development cost charges
        • Municipal charges (i.e. Approval process costs)
        • Taxes
    • Improved ownership financing options
        • Enhancing affordability of homeownership
        • Enhancing access to homeownership
    • Address the two fundamental challenges in the rental market—(1) low volumes of new rental construction and (2) low incomes among tenants :
        • Income tax treatment of rental housing
        • The GST and rental housing
        • Government-mandated costs
        • Unfair property taxation
    • Assisting low-income and special needs households: a) Rent supplements
    • b) Portable housing allowances
  • 21. Thank you

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