What is a Regional Growth Strategy?

    The Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a strategic plan adopted by the RDN Board that directs long-term planning for sustainable growth in the region. It is a commitment made by member municipalities and electoral areas to collaborate and ensure sustainable growth management by taking into account shared services, our unique natural environment and available resources.

    Why review the RGS?

    The Local Government Act sets requirements for regional districts with adopted regional growth strategies to consider whether the strategy must be reviewed for possible amendments, at least every five years. Since the last RGS review was conducted more than six years ago, staff initiated a preliminary review that indicated a few policy areas in need of updating. These areas relate to select land use and servicing and housing policies as well as updates to the RGS indicators/targets and demographic information since the last census period (2016).

    Will I be consulted?

    The RGS Consultation Plan (located in the document library) outlines the legislative requirements to consult, and the region wide approach in which those interested and affected will be provided opportunities to comment on the proposed amendments. This is achieved by incorporating the Guiding Principles of the RDN Public Consultation/Communication Framework1 into the implementation of the plan, whereby, “Anyone likely to be affected by a decision … have opportunities for input into that decision”.

    The RGS Review consultation, while placing a priority on stakeholder engagement, also provides numerous opportunities for the broader community to be involved. The will make use of the RDN Get Involved, social media, media releases, newspaper ads, and newsletters. Additionally, RDN planning staff are available for meetings and anybody who wants to be involved will have an opportunity to provide input either electronically or directly through staff.

    What is a Housing Needs Report

    Housing needs reports are a way for communities to better understand their current and future housing needs. These reports can help identify existing and projected gaps in housing supply by collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information about local demographics, economics, housing stock, and other factors. A housing needs report is critical to developing a housing strategy or action plan.

    In accordance with the Local Government Act, Housing Needs Reports are required to report on the following data:

    • housing units required currently and over the next five years,
    • number of households in core housing need, and
    • statements about key areas of local need.

    While the regulations on Housing Needs Reports do not provide direction on the type of community and stakeholder engagement that must be completed, the RDN recognizes the importance of stakeholder input to validate data and to assist in providing additional context not captured by statistical data. To address this 3 stakeholder workshops with representatives from social service organizations, developers, non-profit housing providers and local government were held in 2019.