District Housing committee is meeting at the municipal office, Oct. 20 for their third meeting. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

District Housing committee is meeting at the municipal office, Oct. 20 for their third meeting. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

New committee formed to deal with housing crisis

Meetings are held at council chambers and are open to the public

Vanderhoof’s new district housing committee would like to hear from you.

A new committee has been formed by the District of Vanderhoof to deal with the housing crisis being faced by the community, with participation from local business owners as well as Vanderhoof councillors including — Coun. Ken Young, Coun. Cyndi Lauze, Rex Millard, Jeff Boon, Shay Bulmer and Allan Bieganski.

“The most important issue facing the community right now is houses to put people in. We can’t grow, we can’t fill jobs needed unless we have houses to put people in,” said Rex Millard, owner of Ace Hardware in Vanderhoof.

READ MORE: Various housing initiatives underway in Vanderhoof

Millard said Vanderhoof “desperately” needs all range of homes from multi-family starter homes, to rentals, right up to $650,000 single family dwellings. He said he would like to see subdivisions put in place, more apartments, etc.

Millard is also part of Vanderhoof’s Investment Co-operative, a for-profit organization looking to develop more housing stock in the community.

Lauze said the mandate of the district committee is to support housing, and currently they are trying to understand the barriers to developing housing in Vanderhoof, and why local homes are appraised for a lower value in comparison to neighbouring Prince George.

She said the committee also recognizes needs for supportive and low-cost housing, but would like to know what the need is in the community. She said non-profit organizations or individuals working in those sectors or with knowledge of the needs should reach out to the district housing committee.

“I know we had a few meetings to talk about homelessness last winter, but a lot of that fiddles out. You need a champion for it. If there was a champion for it, people who were really interested and want to get together and sit down and talk about these issues, that’s interesting to me. We are looking to support and move ahead in all of these things, and it has to come from the community.”

The committee has had two meetings on Aug. 12 and Sept. 14 and their agendas are published on the district’s website. These meetings are open to the public and are held every third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at the municipal office. Next meeting is going to be held Oct.20.

Aman Parhar
Editor – Vanderhoof Omineca Express, Caledonia Courier


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