Thursday, July 10, 2014

Council hears details of Housing report

The topic of the available housing in the city today and what may be required in the future has been much on the mind of Prince Rupert City Council in recent months, with Council having previously tasked City Planner Zeno Krekic to provide an update on the status of accommodation in the city.

Mr. Krekic delivered the first phase of his review for Council on Monday evening, outlining how a Core team assembled by the City went to work to explore the inventory of housing in the community.

Comprised of six members of city staff, three from Urban Systems and the assistance of staff at Pacific Northwest LNG, the team set out to first map the stock of housing in the community, highlighting land that is in use at the moment, currently vacant or available lots that have yet to be developed.

The comprehensive report made much use of maps and reviewed a wide range of topics to the theme, including private market rentals, Home Ownership, Emergency Shelters, Independent Social Housing and Rent Assistance.

The team in the field spent thirteen and a half days reviewing the inventory and determined that there currently were 5,108 units of varying status currently among the city's housing stock.

By their count, during the period of the study there were approximately 117 vacant units in the city with 524 lots available for further development.

The purpose of the study is to provide the City with some baselines on the nature of our housing stock and as City Manager Robert Long offered up following the presentation, the study offers up much for Council to review, with the opportunity to give some consideration towards housing density for some of the identified vacant space in the city particularly that closer to the downtown core area.

The theme of housing has in particular been of much interest to Councillors Thorkelson and Ashley, so it's unfortunate that neither were in attendance on Monday evening and missed out on the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Krekic regarding the work of his team.

They perhaps can catch up to the findings when the Final Report of the Housing Survey is delivered  at the end of the month, Mr. Krekic advised it was his hope to have the report posted to the city's website for public review as well.

His report is just the first phase of the process ahead on the theme of Housing, up next for Council to consider will be a Land Base Inventory of the community, which the City Planner hopes to deliver to Council in September.

It all should be of some assistance to Councillor Thorkelson in particular as she moves forward her proposal of late June to have council consider the formation of a Housing Committee for the city.

You can review his presentation of Monday from the Video page of the Council website, it opens up the Council session and continues on through until the thirty minute mark.

There are more items on Housing issues in the community available on our Housing Issues archive page.

For a review of more items of note from Prince Rupert Council see our archive page here.

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