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Gander is a growing community of 11,880 with a population increase of 23 per cent since 2001. In recent years, there has been a surge in the demand for housing. Housing is a crisis nationwide, with Gander facing its own particular challenges. Council is exploring ways to meet the increased demand, including changes to regulations that better facilitate development opportunities.

Furthermore, to address Gander's housing supply needs, we introduced "Build Up Gander" as a strategic initiative. Recognizing dynamic socio-economic changes, we are committed to preserving Gander's character while creating an inclusive community that encourages growth.

We acknowledge the delicate balance between housing solutions and preserving neighborhood traditions. Management evaluated areas based on their protective value against community values like open spaces.

In consultation with community members and private / public stakeholders, several ongoing strategies under the banner of “Build Up Gander” have been introduced to address the increased housing demand, while also promoting sustainable development and community well-being.

So how do we get there?

Following a Public Briefing session held on March 30, 2023, the Development Regulations Amendment #5, 2023, was adopted unanimously by Council at the Aug 30, 2023, Regular meeting,

This amendment introduced changes to the Town of Gander Development Regulations 2019-2029 to accommodate “Cluster Developments” in some zones within the Towns Planning Area and Municipal Boundaries, at Council’s discretion.

Cluster development means a development that has two or more buildings on a single property. These buildings can consist of single homes, semi-detached dwellings, row dwellings, apartment buildings, duplexes, town houses, residences or commercial uses. Cluster developments have more efficient site design, preserve open spaces, lower construction costs, and lower maintenance costs in the delivery of services. 

The amendment will allow more flexibility around constructing multiple buildings on a single lot - meeting a growing need for more diverse and affordable housing. This new standard furthers the Town’s goal to create residential neighbourhoods that are inclusive, and supports people of different ages, abilities, and incomes.

Infill developments means the construction of new buildings or the redevelopment of underutilized or vacant land within an existing built-up area. Infill developments can help create more housing options in areas that are already established, which can help reduce urban sprawl and improve walkability.

Proposed infill locations on Bennett Drive, Johnson Crescent, Nungesser Avenue, Magee Road, and Grandy Avenue were identified as aligning with the Town of Gander’s vision of addressing specific housing needs in our town, while considering each site's unique attributes. 

The Committee recommended the following for the five proposed infill sites:

  • High Density 2 zoning with specific buffers (20 m and 5 m, respectively) for Bennett Drive and Johnson Crescent. 
  • Advancing Nungesser Avenue's infill re-zoning, with technical considerations. 
  • Developing a strategy for the land on Magee Road currently zoned as Commercial Local. 
  • Removing Grandy Avenue from the zoning request due to market factors.

We believe these infill locations reflect a thoughtful approach, considering density, proximity to amenities, and community impact. The recommendations result from meticulous analysis and community engagement, aiming to benefit our residents and Gander's growth and prosperity.

Proposed land to re-zone for Infill Developments


The Town of Gander is situated in proximity to Newfoundland and Labrador’s northeast coast and has grown to over 11,800 in population in recent years. Prominent industries situated in the Town include transportation, communications, education, public administration, defense, and an impending mining industry. The Town also plays an important regional role, acting as a service hub for the more than 80,000 people situated in 130 communities that lie within a 100km radius of the Town. In recent years there has been a surge in demand for housing, even as recovery continues from the negative impacts of the recent COVID pandemic. Regional economic opportunities have also emerged which could accelerate this recovery.

Current projections suggest that more than 700 new homes could be added over the next 10 year. Council is exploring ways to address this demand within the shifting housing landscape. Specifically, the Town is undertaking a Housing Needs Assessment Update to support these efforts. The original Assessment was conducted in 2015 and since that time, there have been considerable changes in demographic and employment trends. Like other communities across the country, Gander has also experienced considerable shifts in the housing market and in particular, housing affordability.

Re/fact Consulting has been retained by the Town to assist in completing the Update. Using data analysis, growth trends and research, the Update will identify key local housing issues. Insights gathered from stakeholders and the broader public as part of the consultation process will help to augment these findings. An examination of options and opportunities for addressing these challenges in an impactful way will also be undertaken as part of the process.

Some specific areas that the Update will explore include:

• Current and project growth trends as well as the housing requirement this will generate
• The range and type of housing options that are available in the community
• The affordability of housing in relation to local residents needs
• Barriers and impediments to meeting housing needs
• Policies, practices and tools to help overcome identified housing barriers

This work is intended to provide an updated baseline for local housing needs and issues as well as projected housing requirements over the next 10 years. Ultimately, the Update will be used as a foundation to support the efforts of the Town as it develops a comprehensive Housing Action Plan to address housing issues and guide future municipal decisions.

The consultation strategy is intended to provide a multi-faceted way to gather information and facilitate feedback from a range of housing stakeholders and the broader community that can be used to inform the Housing Needs Assessment Update. The purpose of this strategy is to identify emerging housing issues, gaps and priorities; develop opportunities to create more affordable housing; and determine where efforts should be focused to get the best outcomes.

The planned consultation strategy includes:

Community Town Hall Sessions: Two Town Hall sessions will take place during the Needs Stage (Dec. 12, 2023) and Policy Stage of consultations (Jan / Feb TBA). A presentation with group discussion, targeting community members, stakeholders and general public interested in housing issues, will be facilitated by Re/fact Consulting.

Focus Group Sessions: Smaller group discussions with a cross-section of targeted community stakeholders that have specific perspectives on housing and development, using structured questions and facilitated by the consultant group.

Key Informant Interviews: Individual interviews using guideline questions that target individuals from key entities or organizations with specific insights on housing issues. Informant interviews would also help to facilitate key partnerships, secure resources that address priorities, and determine ways of overcoming barriers to development.

Community Housing Survey: Our on-line survey, which will run until mid-January 2024, is designed to gather information related to housing issues in the community. Community members, stakeholders and general public interested in housing issues are encouraged to participate.

Webpage for Project Info: Launched on Nov. 27, 2023, the "Build Up Gander" Housing Needs Assessment Update page will provide ongoing general information about this project including post-project updates, Town Hall presentations, Town Hall sessions, event announcements, and public survey results / outcomes.

Project Mailbox: the email was established to provide an ongoing mechanism for open ended feedback, subject to the perspectives shared by the public.


Affordable Housing Incentives: Assess, develop and launch a suite of targeted incentives that support housing development to expand the supply of housing that is affordable. Incentives to be examined would include capital grants, interest free loans, tax abatement, tax increment financing, waiver of development fees and land donations.

Housing-based Zoning and Regulatory Reforms: Allow for increased housing density on a single lot including promoting “missing middle” housing forms. Regulatory changes to be considered would include broadening permitted uses, reducing zoning standards, adding density, promoting accessibility, and amending regulatory tools to support housing affordability and permit a broader range of multi-residential housing.

Middle and High-density Housing Tools: Promote and allow for more housing types that serve vulnerable populations, identify pressure points in the local market regarding mid and higher density housing, and address middle and higher density gaps evident in the local market that will help add to the supply of multi-residential units that are better suited to smaller households and those requiring greater affordability.

Innovative Practices in Housing Delivery: Encourage alternative forms of housing construction such as modular housing, manufactured housing, and prefabricated housing. Expanding possible housing types and delivery techniques will help to shorten development timelines, broaden options, and reduce the cost of housing. Work would first focus on a development process review, in order to shorten potential approvals timelines.

Establishing a Municipal Land Bank: Develop a municipal land inventory and associated mechanisms to acquire and utilize public lands suitable for housing development.

Property Utilization: Promote infill developments with increased housing density and a variety of unit types. Realizing this potential has the added benefit of more effectively utilizing and servicing infrastructure that is already in place.

Capacity, Partnership and Education: Establish capacity, partnership and education strategies with not-for-profit housing providers to increase the stock of affordable housing, build additional stakeholder capacity, foster beneficial housing partnerships, and broaden awareness of housing issues among the public.

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