Housing effort stymies city, says Terrace mayor

The city can’t force a developer to build a housing complex that would rent a portion of its units at below-market rates, says Carol Leclerc

  • Jun. 22, 2015 6:00 p.m.

The city of Terrace can’t force a developer to build a housing complex that would rent a portion of its units at below-market rates, says mayor Carol Leclerc.

The most the city could do is talk with developer Coast to Coast about its planned 105-unit complex on the corner of Park and Kenney, Leclerc said in response to a question following a speech she made at a June 18 Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

RELATED: Terrace affordable housing project on hold

That corner of Park and Kenney, 2.4 acres, was sold by the city to Coast to Coast for $951,000 last year after the developer offered up the best plan for affordable housing for the property – renting 20 per cent of any units built at below market value to those who met a specific income level.

“We can have a conversation with them just to see where things are at with them. I think that [we need to understand] what’s happening in their world before we go and say we want stuff done,” said Leclerc.

Leclerc suggested that the overall housing market might be something that the city would have to speak to the developers about.

She was responding to a question asked by former mayor Dave Pernarowski under whose watch the land deal was made last year.

But two weeks ago Coast to Coast announced it was putting the entire project on hold until market conditions improved here.

And last summer, it hinted that it would build 24 units at first, meaning that at least four of them would be rented out at below market value.

If the city was happy with Coast to Coast’s affordable housing promise, it was also happy with the price it received for the property and set aside $500,000 to stimulate other affordable housing plans.

In responding to a follow up question from Pernarowski about the status of the money, Leclerc said it remains untouched.

Leclerc said council could consider a partnership with a developer or help affordable housing builders with rezoning or other development costs.

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