Coun. Elliott told city council about the housing needs assessment at the council meeting on April 2. Heather Norman photo

City of Quesnel and Cariboo Regional District working on housing needs assessment

The final report is expected to be presented by the end of September

The City of Quesnel has partnered with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) to create a Housing Needs Assessment, Gap Analysis and Action Plan. The creation of the plan will also use funds from Cariboo Strong.

The assessment, headed by Coun. Scott Elliott, the chair of the City’s Housing Committee, will use information compiled by Urbanics Consultants Ltd. to identify current and future housing needs for the community.

“The key with this is we’re looking at full-spectrum housing needs … throughout the whole North Cariboo. Everything from social housing, [the] shelter, right up to market housing and every type of,” Coun. Elliott told council during the April 2 regular council meeting.

Urbanics Consultants will be guided by a Housing Select Steering Committee, which will providethe consultants with local knowledge, expertise and connections to community stakeholders.

READ MORE: High hospital occupancy amidst seniors housing shortage in Quesnel

The Steering Commitee is made up of Tanya Turner, the City’s director of development services; Havan Surat, the manager of development services for the CRD; Shivani Sajwan, urban planner for the CRD; Lorilee Sweeney, the interim manager of the Northern Health Authority; Luanne Ruotsalainen, the executive director of Dakelh and Quesnel Community Housing Society; Joe Hart, president of the Canadian Home Builders Association of Northern B.C. and first vice-president of the organization for B.C.; William Lacy, a sales representative for Remax Quesnel Realty; Sandra Richot, the director of operations at the Ministry of Children and Family Development; Melanie MacDonald, executive director of Seasons House Shelter and a member of the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society; and Brent Oxenbury of Lions Housing.

The Select Committee met for the first time on March 26.

The exact objectives of the assessment are to establish baseline data throughout the entire spectrum of housing types, tenures and affordability by collecting information about the current and projected population; demographics and household size; household income; significant economic sectors; and housing units, both those units currently available and those anticipated in the future.

The assessment will also aim to establish baseline data on the supply of market and non-market housing of various types and tenures, as well as to understand the cost of development and construction and market values of land. The assessment aims to identify the number of housing units required to meet current and anticipated needs for at least the next five years, as well as identifying various trends, particularly regarding location, size, and aging populations.

The final aim is to develop a list of — and prioritize — the actions which will best help the community to meet current and projected housing needs.

The first draft of the data collected for the assessment is expected to be reviewed by the Steering Committee by June 1. The final assessment, including a presentation on target populations, housing types and tenures, is expected by Aug. 31, and the Steering Committee is expected to present an Action Plan by Sept. 30.

Heather Norman
Community Reporter
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