N.B. planning for future housing needs

By Angela Brown
February 14, 2018 - 8:00am

More supportive living housing for seniors, quality student housing, and more residences for new families.

These should be North Battleford City Hall's priorities as the city plans for its future housing needs according to Alan Wallace, Saskatchewan project lead for V3 Companies of Canada. Wallace presented a new Housing Strategy and Action Plan report for N.B. to council Monday night.

“By adopting a housing strategy it will put North Battleford in a better position to take advantage of the National Housing Strategy," Wallace said. "It will give you a leg-up over other municipalities that do not have a housing strategy and a housing plan to take them into the future."

Mayor Ryan Bater said when it comes to housing, the city needs more choice.

“We actually have a fairly healthy housing market, and a rather affordable housing market, but there is limited choice within that, and we could use some more affordable housing as well," he said.

It’s not common for a municipality to get directly involved in housing, the mayor said, but the city does have a number of local needs to address. 

“As a local government we have to make sure those needs are met," he said.

Some of the recommendations in the housing report include hiring a part-time housing coordinator, as well as establishing a housing reserve fund. Bater said working with the city's partners is also a significant part of the housing strategy. N.B. has a number of regional partners with an interest in housing, he said. The town of Battleford municipality, as well as the local tribal councils – Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs and Battlefords Tribal Council - are interested in working with the city on housing needs projects, he said.

“We want to explore all those partnerships,” said Bater. “It’s obviously a big project.”

Bater said most of the projects presented in the housing study report have a long-term, 10-year completion date.


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