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

Fraser Lake business offers equine therapy to deal with life stressors

The idea is to have diverse businesses that provide more options to residents and tourists says Kim Watt-Senner

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Most Read