City in the market for new housing assessment

Study would explore affordability, inventory and land-use planning

City council approved a staff request to apply for $10,000 in matching funds from a Northern Development Initiative Trust program to assess Prince Rupert’s housing needs and inventory. The NDIT funds are part of three new programs to support local governments in the creation of new, market-based housing units across Northern B.C.

In a report to council, city staff noted housing, and land-use planning specifically, is an important component of Prince Rupert’s Quality of Life Official Community Plan. The collection of housing data and future needs will soon also be a mandated component of local government activities, noted the report.

READ MORE: NDIT announces new housing programs for Northern B.C.

“The aim of developing a Prince Rupert housing Inventory and Analysis is to structure continual data collection to meet both the City’s ongoing planning needs, and meet future mandated requirements from the Province, which are forthcoming.”

From 2012 to 2016, during the city’s Planning for Major Projects initiative, staff collected information on housing availability, affordability and quality. Data from the proposed new housing assessment will build on that data and also serve as a benchmark for updates to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

READ MORE: CMHS says overall housing market no longer vulnerable

“To meet the City’s housing planning needs, a fulsome understanding of the subject of housing is required, both through an inventory and needs assessment,” reads the staff report. “This grant will assist the City with updating our existing datasets, supporting advanced planning to address the community’s future housing needs, and achieve mandated objectives.”

In early April NDIT announced $200,000 would be made available annually to local governments for one-time funding of up to $10,000 for the purpose of the study.

If approved for the grant, the city’s matching portion will be taken from funds already budgeted for the renewal of the Official Community Plan.

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