Monday, February 26, 2024

MLA Rice shares notes on Housing for Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert in Legislature commentary

North Coast MLA took advantage of an opportunity to speak in the Legislature on Thursday to relay some notes on housing issues for Haida Gwaii and the North Coast.

The MLA using the morning session prior to the Budget to explore some themes of interest for residents of both communities.

With Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond in the gallery for the mongering session, Ms. Rice noted of some recent progress for both communities.

"I was recently in Haida Gwaii, where I spent a lot of time in various communities. I spent a particular amount of time in Masset and Old Masset, where I feel like the leadership is just in incredible overdrive high-speed on building more houses for their people.

 I got to see houses for workers, houses for Elders, for people with low income and moderate income, tiny homes for single men, and I was completely flabbergasted at the progress they've made since my last visit. The same could be said in Daajing Giids and in Skidegate as well."

Towards her Prince Rupert notes, Ms. Rice focused on some of the recent provincial housing legislation designed to improve on housing stock

"One thing that I've heard, as an MLA locally in Prince Rupert, is we've done a great job of building supportive housing for low-income people. But what about the middle-income people? What about housing for the nurses that we're trying to attract and the social workers — and we need a sonograph tech, by the way — homes for those people. 

And so that's why I'm so excited that we've just recently launched BC Builds, which is a program to help middle-income people with finding homes, finding affordable renters and making it very convenient and easier for developers to build in our communities with low-interest rate loans, with land that's provided by various levels of government."

She also offered up some praise of the work of Mayor Pond and City Council on housing themes, as well as to serve as a bit of a property development promoter

"While I'm here, because my mayor is here, I must shout-out to the city of Prince Rupert and all the efforts, the multiple bylaws that they've put into place to attract builders to our community, which is plagued with muskeg and bedrock. 

They've done a phenomenal job. And so Mayor Pond would be the first to say that people are welcome to help us build middle-income homes. 

For decades there's been little intervention from provincial and federal governments, so this program, BC Builds…. 

You're welcome, come build in Prince Rupert. 

We're looking for middle-income homes."

Her full presentation to the Legislature can be reviewed from the Legislature Video archive starting at the 10:22 AM mark.

More notes from the Legislature can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of housing in the region is available to explore here.

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