The Village of Telkwa has hired a community housing planner. Daniel Hussey started his one-year contract at the beginning of September and was introduced to council at their last meeting.
The Village of Telkwa and the District of Houston have partnered together on this initiative and he will spend half his week working in Telkwa and the other half in Houston. The village and the district were able to hire him because of Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Community Planning for Housing Program.
According to NDIT’s website, the program gives grant funding to help communities with the planning capacity, knowledge and experience they need to identify housing issues and develop appropriate responses that will encourage the development of housing that meets the needs of their community.
“Housing has been identified by council in both the Village of Telkwa and the District of Houston as one of their strategic priorities,” said Village of Telkwa Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Joujan.
Telkwa Mayor Brad Layton said the housing planner will help to find out how big the housing problem is and what demographics are being impacted the most so, as a community, council can plan and move forward with informed decisions.
Hussey moved to the area from Ireland to take the position three weeks ago. He recently obtained a Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development. He said it is too early for him to tell if Telkwa has a housing problem yet as he is just getting familiar with the region, demographics and the local by-laws but he’s working hard to find out the housing issues.
“I want to focus on sustainable development and put people at the forefront of everything we do,” he said.
At Tuesday night’s meeting Coun. Annette Morgan told him she has been appointed by BC Housing as an independent board member on the Aboriginal Housing Management Association and is happy to share any resources with him.