The previous 2013-2022 Housing Business Plan played a crucial role in encouraging and facilitating the creation of affordable housing in Saskatoon through policy, incentives, research, partnerships, and education. During the 2023 Preliminary Business Plan and Budget deliberations, City Council allocated $245,000 to be used towards the development of a new Housing Strategy. In addition, the City has been approved for a grant of $20,000 from the provincial government through the Encouraging Community Housing Options (ECHO) Funding.
This project will bring the City’s Housing Strategy into alignment with current housing needs, existing plans and strategies as well as other levels of government to ensure current community needs are being met and to provide guidance and direction to Administration by reviewing the City’s role, as it relates to Housing.
The Housing Strategy Project aims to:
- Understand current housing trends and best practices;
- Identify the City’s potential roles and responsibilities when it comes to housing;
- Better understand the community’s current and future housing needs according to affordability, adequacy and suitability indicators;
- Identify the needs of support service organizations and the priority populations they serve in relation to housing;
- Identify opportunities for incentives, both financial and non-financial, to support housing; and
- Determine funding needs to support the implementation of the Housing Strategy.
The Project will include several initiatives to gather input and assess appropriate data to inform the development of the new Housing Strategy:
- Housing Needs Assessment – A review and documentation of the housing resources in Saskatoon, as well as an analysis of population growth and income trends to understand the current state of the housing continuum and potential future pressure points to be addressed in the new Housing Strategy.
- Best Practices Review – A jurisdictional review of Canadian municipalities to identify options, leading practices and tools available to support housing goals in Saskatoon; and
- Engagement – Targeted community consultation efforts.
Based on Council direction, the Project is not anticipated to include the following:
- Research or recommendations in relation to City owned or operated housing;
- Provincial or Federal government responsibilities other than potential advocacy and partnership opportunities; and
- An update or review of Saskatoon’s Homelessness Action Plan.