Thursday, November 27, 2014

Work Camp proponents may provide partial answer to City's ongoing Housing concerns

One of the interesting side stories to Monday's discussion on the proposed work camp for the Wantage Road area, was the way that topic at times morphed into the discussion related to the City's concerns over social and affordable housing.

The issue of housing in the community first came up during the Public Hearing phase of the evening, with one participant in that process, offering up observations on the proposed lay down area of the Wantage Road proposal and how it once was a trailer park site.

She suggested to Council that the location would make for a potential solution to the City's affordable housing concerns, with the observation that the area once again be zoned to allow for mobile homes or small housing to be placed there.

Later in the evening, Councillor Ashley brought that suggestion back to Council's attention, asking City Manager Robert Long if it that concept is one the City could consider.

Mr. Long advised that the nature of the decline of the infrastructure in that old trailer park area made that prospect an unlikely one at this time, and was one of the reasons that the original trailer park site was closed by the City.

Turning her attention to the discussions with the work camp proponents Horizon North, Councillor Ashley then asked Mr. Long if the City had had any kind of discussion on how that company, which produces modular housing, might be able to assist the city with its social and affordable housing issues.

While the topic would appear to not be much more than an in passing kind of conversation to this point.  Mr. Long advised that it was something the City might be able to address with the proponents should they go forward with their larger project for Wantage Road.

Later in the Council Session, Councillor Cunningham returned to the Housing issue, making a motion to have representatives of both BC Housing and the local social housing operator M'akola Housing appear at Council to review the current situation and answer a number of questions regarding the status of many of the units in their housing stock.

Councillors Ashley and Thorkelson also offered up some observations on the issues related to housing and local options in the community.

Council voted to adopt that motion for the meeting, though no timeline was provide as to when it would take place.

You can review some of the housing discussion from the City's Video Archive from the 2:14:00-2:19:00 mark.

A larger overview on the theme of housing can be examined from the City Council Timeline.

More background related to Housing issues in the community can be found here.

For further background on issues from Prince Rupert City Council proceedings see our Archive page here.

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