City designating $70,000 for affordable housing strategy

The City has approved, in principle, $70,000 to fund an Affordable Housing strategy for Fort St. John.

The money will be designated in the 2010 budget to fund the initiative, which will investigate solutions to affordable housing in Fort St. John. As of 2009, there is a 59 person waiting list for affordable housing.

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Director of Planning and Engineering Horatio Galanti presented four options to City Council. Essentially, ‘option two’ was recommended, which would define ‘affordable housing’, as well as hold public consultations on the matter.

Mayor Bruce Lantz says he would like to delay the decision until council has a chance to fully discuss the best strategies.

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However, Councilor Ackerman says she thinks the recommended option allows the City to look at the development of the strategy. She says the option has the qualitative and quantitative data needed to take to the senior levels of government.

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City Manager Diane Hunter says for the City Staff’s sake, she would like to see the motion tabled to the 2010 budget discussions in September.

However, a decision was made, and option two was passed. Councilors Evans, Ackerman and Bolin voted in favor of the motion, while Mayor Lantz and Councilor Christensen opposed the idea. Councilors Dan Davies and Don Irwin did not attend Monday’s City Council meeting.

The estimated timeframe for the Affordable Housing strategy will take approximately 10-12 months, starting in the fall of 2009 and completed by October 2010.

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