Roy Spooner, community ministries supervisor for The Salvation Army, presented to council on April 8 at a regular public meeting. TSA has set up the Vanderhoof Community Housing Parntership which was over 20 people from the community actively looking to deal with the housing crisis, said Spooner. (Heather Norman photo)

Group of 20 actively want to deal with the housing crisis in Vanderhoof

The Salvation Army went as a delegation to council to request $10,000 for an updated housing study

The Salvation Army is requesting $10,000 from the District of Vanderhoof for an updated housing study. TSA has formed Vanderhoof Community Housing Partnership, which has 20 stakeholders from the community actively looking to solve the housing issue in the District, said Roy Spooner, community ministries supervisor for TSA.

Spooner made a presentation to council on April 8, during the regular public meeting held at the municipal office. TSA had gone as a delegation to council, with several stakeholders of the Vanderhoof Community Housing Partnership (VCHP) present for the meeting.

Spooner said at VCHP’s December meeting, Mayor Gerry Thiessen had identified that it would be best if there was a group from the community, committed to addressing the housing concern expressed by the community. He said VCHP was developed as a response to that suggestion.

The fee to have UNBC CDI do the 2019-Vanderhoof Community Housing Study is $25,000. Spooner said, VCHP has raised $10,000, and are committed to raise an additional $5,000.

During his presentation, Spooner said when TSA was encouraged to open operations in Vanderhoof, people identified the housing issue as one of the priorities that could be uniquely tackled by them.

He said, there has been concern about housing in Vanderhoof for not only seniors, but low income individuals and families, one to two person households, individuals and families seeking single family housing, and young professionals who want to move to the District.

Spooner said to council that there are seniors who have to live in the hospital for extended duration, because of the lack of affordable housing. He added, that he knew of young professionals who would like to call Vanderhoof home, but are unable to move due to the sheer lack of housing options.

So as a result of this concern, Spooner said that TSA encouraged and worked together with over 20 like-minded people, community organizations and local businesses, who want to actively tackle the housing crisis.

This group as explained by Spooner, has met between the summer of 2018 and Christmas, to discuss and provide individual and organizational perceptions and opinions.

Vanderhoof had done a housing study and needs analysis in the summer of 2015, and Spooner said this study was reviewed by the group and found to be very helpful. But the review led to the conclusion that, in order to effectively respond to the concern, they need to have current data as the foundation of a plan.

VCHP met with the authors of the 2015 housing study in December, and the meeting resulted in the agreement that the 2015 DOV housing study be updated.

The group further agreed, that the plan should seek to find a solution for a decade and that research should forecast challenges and solutions for 10 years.

Spooner said VCHP requested and received a proposal from UNBC Community Development Institute to “update and extend the 2015 DOV Housing study and Needs Analysis.”

The main of the 2019 study will be “to explore the factors that will influence housing need and demand in Vanderhoof over the next decade and develop conclusions and recommendations about the number and timing of housing units needed between 2020 and 2030 to house people in various segments of the market,” as per Spooner’s submission to council.

He said this study will give direction for not-for-profit organizations with capacity and commitment to provide housing.

“It will do the same for private developers who see the merit of building what the community needs rather than going off in another direction. These results will be sound market research ideally supported by the DOV, which will assist various housing developers to secure funding from appropriate sources,” he said.

“Our approach is founded in the truth that – it is easier to solve a problem once you have understood and accepted the problem,” read Spooner’s submission to council.

After the presentation ended, Councillor Frenkel suggested that Spooner have a look at the 2018 housing study done by the province, as it provides the same answers he felt VCHP were looking for.

Spooner responded by saying that he would have a look at the provincial housing study, but the aim of VCHP is to create a model for housing needs for the next decade, tailored to the needs of Vanderhoof.

Council have not added $10,000 for TSA in the 2019 budget. During a special meeting held April 9, councillors discussed TSA’s request. Councillors were hesitant about giving $10,000 to TSA, as they felt that the 2015 housing study was done not too long ago. And that people in Vanderhoof would not be happy that the District was spending on another housing study within three years.

Mayor and council are scheduled to discuss Spooner’s request later this month during their regular public meeting.

READ MORE: City has options available to fix seniors housing issues: advocate

READ MORE: Two new housing projects receive funding in Vanderhoof


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

RCMP investigating assault on a 17-year-old in Vanderhoof

Vanderhoof RCMP are seeking witnesses to an assault that occurred in the… Continue reading

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

Prince Rupert man who killed foster parents in 2017 receives three-year sentence

A Prince Rupert man convicted in the deaths of his foster parents… Continue reading

Andrew Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

More rowers come forward with complaints about coach, criticism of UVic

Barney Williams is accused of verbal abuse and harassment

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read