The city of Quesnel hosted a meeting Monday afternoon to discuss plans regarding an affordable housing strategy.
The city worked with Wilco van Bemmel, of Dunefield Consulanting from the Netherlands, to help put together a strategic plan as well as prioritize Quesnel’s affordable housing needs.
Three main priority items were found:
• Improve the quality of emergency and transitional housing options for people in immediate need
• Provide more supportive housing options for those who can’t live independently (yet)
• Provide more low-cost and attractive market housing options for independent seniors and single income households
Each priority was further broken down into different goals to help achieve said priority item.
The goals for the first priority are to bring and keep current accommodations in good physical condition and add space for much needed services.
These goals have been broken down into two items which will combine to achieve the goal.
The first item is to have Seasons House in good physical condition, with four to eight new emergency beds as well as two to four new youth beds within the next three years.
The second item is to have the Amata House in good physical condition and have it more accessible with an improved children’s area in the next four to eight years.
The second priority item hopes to “create supportive housing in safe and stable environments that meet the needs of singles, single parents and seniors,” according to the strategy.
To help achieve this priority item, the strategy plans for 10 to 15 more supportive homes for singles, single parents and seniors in the next three years as well as 20 to 40 more supportive homes for singles, single parents and seniors in the next four to eight years.
According to the strategy, the third priority aims to “implement incentives to stimulate market development of diverse, medium-density and affordable housing options.”
To help reach those goals, van Bemmel would like to see 10 to 25 more affordable homes for median income households in the next three years and an additional 40 to 75 more affordable homes for median income households in the next four to eight years.
City planner Tanya Turner was on hand to speak to the strategy and said she’s “proud of what’s happening here.”
“Housing is a basic need,” Turner added.
“We’re developing a community with all the parts and pieces.”
Turner also explained affordable housing means more than cheap homes.
It means providing housing options for all kinds of demographics.
It’s more about having safe, affordable and attainable housing for different needs.
As this is just a draft, any suggestions from the public are encouraged.
For more on Quesnel’s affordable housing strategy and to view the draft, visit http://www.quesnel.ca/DocumentBank/Reports/2012/2012_Housing.Strategy_draft1.pdf.