Quesnel city council agrees to amendments to Elliot Street Housing Agreement

New agreement gives city recourse if conditions are not met by operator

Quesnel City Council approved a series of proposed amendments to the Elliott Street Housing Agreement on Tuesday evening (Sept. 4).

The agreement is between BC Housing and the City of Quesnel and provides the city with some tools for recourse if the operators of the proposed housing unit on Elliott Street do not meet the requirements around the usage of the property, services offered, and ensuring parking generated by the facility remains off the street. It also requires the operators of the unit to adhere to the Good Neighbour Agreement, a communication tool between the proposed operators, the city and the neighbourhood.

Mayor Bob Simpson lauded the work done by the city in coming up with the new agreement.

“I would be surprised if language like this exists in other housing agreements around the province based on conversations I’ve had with other mayors,” he said.

“I think they’re going to be looking at this housing agreement on future development because of the authority that it gives to councils. Because at the end of the day right now, our authority ends after we sign off on the final reading for some of these projects and, as we’ve seen in the case of Seasons House, when we struggle to have a back and forth and we say we’re not comfortable with how things are going and we have the community coming to us, we have no tools.”

READ MORE: Public hearing on Elliot Street supportive housing project highlights fear, concerns

Councillor Scott Elliott was also impressed with what he saw.

“I think that the city is doing everything possible to try and make sure that we have the housing agreement and the Good Neighbour Agreement there for everyone to see,” he said.

The agreement specifies if BC Housing fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement, the city may request a remedy to the default on 60 days notice. After those 60 days, if a solution has not been provided, the city would be within its rights to terminate the agreements with the operator and seek a new one who will satisfy the existing terms.

“I’m very happy that it comes down to the 60 day notice,” said Elliott. “If there aren’t any changes made when there is a situation there is going to be somebody held responsible, which I think the community has been demanding.”

According to the administration report prepared by the Director of Development Services, Tanya Turner, BC Housing will be responsible for ensuring that other uses, like service provision to non-residents or shelter uses do not creep into the building. This would include emergency shelter or extreme weather response use as well as drop-in services to non-residents.

BC Housing will also be responsible for addressing any issues on site that pertain to proper management and operation of the housing facility.

Agreements around parking are also in place that would ensure excess vehicles don’t clog up the road.

READ MORE: City Council continues working on supportive housing development

Director Turner said now that an operator has been selected she will be contacting BC Housing to ask them to start facilitating a discussion with the operator.

She expects there will be quite a while before they submit their development permit but says she think the city should proceed on the Good Neighbour Agreement so it is finalized before the final reading.

Mayor Simpson said it’s important that city council expedite it while ensuring the language is strong.

“We wouldn’t do anything on the final reading on the actual project itself until we’ve got a Good Neighbour Agreement that we’re comfortable with and we know we’ve got the tools we need,” he said, while reiterating, “the timing may be difficult for some people to get because it may look like we’re advancing the housing project with this [but we are not], we’re advancing the relationship with BC housing and us, [as well as the agreement between] us, BC Housing, the operator and the neighbourhood.”



ronan.odoherty@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

Column: what LNG means to First Nations

First Nations LNG Alliance on difference LNG will have on daily life and economics for First Nations

Food security: food costing in Northern B.C.

Northern B.C. residents have additional factors at play when it comes to food security

SD28 continues to put pressure on MOTI regarding West Fraser Road

Around 24 students are riding the school bus for up to three hours each day due to road washout

Column: how to bring young blood to ranching

A Young Agarians program seeks to partner new ranchers with old

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Northern California wildfire is deadliest in state history

Holding out slim hope as crews search for more fire dead; 42 already killed in blaze

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

Most Read