Grand Forks Council pleased with Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing discussions
In a media release Thursday, Grand Forks City Council said a conference call regarding the 2nd Street and 19th Street developments was held with Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, several members of her senior staff and the CEO of BC Housing, Shayne Ramsay.
“Council took the opportunity to relay ongoing concerns about the proposed development to the provincial representatives,” the release said.
“In turn, the Minister acknowledged that having the right operator for these facilities will be an important factor in ensuring community support and that evaluation of interested parties is currently underway.”
The release said the Ministry and BC Housing will hold community sessions to provide more information and collect feedback about the developments once an operator has been identified.
“The Ministry extended an invitation to Council to tour similar projects already in operation to see both the look and feel planned for the Grand Forks projects, and to see first-hand how these projects would fit in to their immediate neighbourhoods,” the release said. “The provincial representatives emphasized that the Ministry places high priority on ensuring the form and character of the developments meet City expectations due to the highly visible location of the downtown project and would work closely with the City in this regard.”
The project on 19th Street is an innovative design for BC Housing, and Council were told that there is significant interest in following the development of that property. The form and character of the design was approved by Council at their February 11 regular meeting.
“City Council appreciates the continued support from Minister Robinson and her staff for the housing needs of the City of Grand Forks,” the release said.
For several years, the Grand Forks City Council has been lobbying for provincial assistance for the lack of affordable housing in the area. Following the flood of 2018, BC Housing announced two developments planned for the Grand Forks area on 2nd Street and 19th Street to help address Grand Forks’ escalating housing shortage. The project at 7382-2ndStreet is up to 34 homes for those experiencing homelessness in Grand Forks, while the project on 19th Street is up to 52 affordable rental homes for families and seniors that is being funded through the Building BC Housing fund.