Tuesday, January 24, 2023

City of Prince Rupert Bid request looks to plan for potential Non-Market Housing options in community

The City of Prince Rupert is looking to take some measures towards gathering information towards developing Non Market Housing and Non Market Senior Housing for within the city limits. 

Something that could help towards the current housing crunch that is being found in the community and fill in a few high profile empty lots found around the downtown core should things proceed. 

The Request for Expressions of Interest for both initiatives was posted to the BC Bid Website on Monday and notes some of the city's view towards the potential development of that housing.

"Depending on the response, the City may elect to move forward with a short-listed party or choose to issue a Request for Proposal to the short-listed parties at a later date, to confirm a proponent to operate the proposed housing. 

 The City may sign an MOU for operation to lease the land and building at no cost in order to facilitate operation of housing. If successful through the Rapid Housing Initiative Round 3.0, the City may then enter into a lease agreement for the duration of 40+ years.

The successful Proponent(s) is to operate non-market housing for those in severe housing need and those at risk of homelessness. The requirements outlined are to ensure the non-market housing developments meet the identified objectives of the City, are sustainable over time, fit well within their local settings, and prioritize the non-market housing needs of the community. 

The requirements also take into account guidelines for current funding available through CMHC for the Rapid Housing Initiative Round 3.0. " Introduction to the City of Prince Rupert RFP request

The documentation to the RFP's outlines the scope of the planned partnership and what is expected to be provided as part of the initiative. Including where the City would have the housing options located.

Seniors Housing is proposed for the lot at Third And McBride

In the RFP documentation, the City identifies the empty lot at Third Avenue West and McBride (Across from Northern Savings Credit Union and part of the City's Gateway proposal) as one site for future development for the Senior's component

Noting of how the proposal fits into their view of Rapid Housing Initiatives.

In 2022, the City initiated an application to the Rapid Housing Initiative Round 3.01 through CMHC to fund the development of multifamily housing in the City Core for people at risk of homelessness. If successful, these buildings would meet occupancy by January, 2025 at the latest. 

The City is now seeking housing operators for the proposed developments to help support the application and manage the housing to ensure units are maintained as affordable for a duration of 40+ years. 

If successful with the Rapid Housing Initiative funding, the City intends to build a four-storey seniors housing facility at the corner of 3rd Avenue West and McBride Street/Hwy 16 in downtown Prince Rupert, British Columbia. 

Preliminary designs are for a range of 55-70 units, with approximately 70% studio/bachelor units and 30% single/one-bedroom units. The City is securing a parcel of land for the proposed development which will proceed if successful with receiving funding.

The City notes that Modular construction solutions are preferred given the remote location and accelerated schedule requirement of the Project. 

click to enlarge

If all were to go according to their timeline, the Facility would be ready for occupancy between September of 2024 and January of 2025.

The Non Market Housing concept is proposed for a lot on Third Avenue West on property between Sixth Street and Seventh Street, that property would include the lot of the old Belmont Hotel, which was destroyed by Fire in 2022.

Non Market Housing has been proposed for a block on Third Ave West

The Background to that proposal notes:

The City will sign an MOU for operation to lease the land and building at no cost in order to facilitate operation of housing. If successful through the Rapid Housing Initiative Round 3.0, the City will enter into a lease agreement for the duration of 40+ years. This timeline is summarized below. 

Timeline: • Deadline for Operator RFEI Submissions – February 13, 2023 • Operator Input and MOU Development to support grant application: February 13 – March 6, 2023 • RHi 3.0 Submission Date: March 15, 2023 • RHi 3.0 Evaluation Period: March 15, 2023 – June 30, 2023 • RHi 3.0 

Grant Award: July 1, 2023 with Design and Construction commencing immediately following, and completion within 18 months. Operator Contract Award and Lease Agreement – July through September, 2023  

Facility Ready for Occupancy – September 2024 - January 1, 2025, may be opportunity for 25% occupancy prior to completion.

While Council has discussed the issue of Housing in a number of instances, the scope of what appears to be the focus for the twin initiatives above has yet to be expanded on in a public council session since the Council members returned to their work this month.

You can review the twin RFP's from the BC Bid website, Bid items  157102 and 157103 

The Deadline for the city to receive interest in the two initiatives is February 13th. 

Myfannwy Pope, Planning Manager for the City of Prince Rupert is steering the initiative at City Hall.

That deadline could offer Council opportunity provide more information for the community as to how it may proceed with the concept and what they may have in mind towards any development.

More notes on Housing in Prince Rupert can be explored through our archive page.

Past notes on Council Discussion themes is available here.

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