Council passes housing needs assessment

Study will look into creating more homes in 100 Mile House

District of 100 Mile House District councillors passed a memo to seek funding to conduct an assessment about the need for housing in the community.

One of the supporting factors has been reports from local businesses having difficulty hiring new employees due to a lack of housing opportunities.

I’ve been hearing from local businesses and industries that there is a huge issue with the housing in our community,” says 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall.

We have businesses that can’t hire employees because they have nowhere to place them and that’s a big issue.”

While the memo was passed, it was only the first step in a long road towards any form of construction.

The resolution provided support for the initiative and directed District staff to identify third-party funding for the assessment project.

With funding in place, the assessment would be carried out to determine the need for housing in 100 Mile House and specifically how great the need is in different sectors of the community.

The assessment would take into account aspects such as seniors status, low-income families and more.

Councillor Ralph Fossum says the need for housing is especially prominent for seniors living in or coming into 100 Mile House.

The assessment will also assist in determining the kind of housing needed whether it be apartments, row housing, seniors housing and more, he adds.

At the last AGE-FRIENDLY meeting, there was talk about more houses for seniors, but that’s only one piece of the [puzzle]. There are other people looking for apartments and condominiums in 100 Mile House and we are seeing a shift in development.”

A 2013 Age Friendly Assessment along with subsequent informal surveys found that housing was a primary concern for local seniors and their families and that suitable housing supports are limited.

However, the extent of the housing shortage and housing suitability has not been quantified or formally researched until now.

Council will now look into finding third-party funding for the project. If none is found, council staff will bring the issue back to the table again during budget discussions. This will determine if council wishes to provide any funding and/or consider reducing the scope of the study.

The assessment will most likely be scheduled and budgeted for 2017.