CITY official David Block at the Tuck Ave. Seniors Housing complex which is slated for expansion.

CITY official David Block at the Tuck Ave. Seniors Housing complex which is slated for expansion.

More housing needed in Terrace, BC

City looks to set up two committees to work on solutions

THE CITY of Terrace has put out a call to volunteers to join two housing committees.

One is a steering committee to plan and guide the expansion of the Tuck Ave. Seniors Housing complex, the other is a housing action committee that helps guide various housing initiatives in the area.

City development services director David Block has spoken several times about the great need for bright minds to address the housing shortages in Terrace.

Since the last housing report in 2009, the vacancy rate for substantial rental units—three units and over—has dropped from 13.7 per cent to 3.6 per cent, Block said, citing federal statistics.

The vacancy rates for two bedroom apartments was 2.5 per cent and one bedroom and bachelors were the most rare at 0.0 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. And the latest stats are from Fall 2012, when the average vacancy rate for rentals was 3.4 per cent.

Before 2006 vacancy reporting rates spiked over 25 per cent.

All this makes committee building so necessary, Block said.

The steering committee for the Tuck Ave. Seniors housing expansion will guide the project from start to finish. This includes applying for seed money, communicating with an architect, and then potentially leading a larger volunteer project at various stages in construction including painting and trim.

Consulting with Terrace District Christian Council, the owners of the property, the team will hash out the exact details of the project.

An open house will be held for potential volunteers to learn more about the steering committee in early July, probably on the 2nd or 3rd, details available from city officials Briana Pellegrino or David Block.

The 2009 report and the 2012 housing action plan called for more housing for senior, people with disabilities, and the homeless. The expansion of the Tuck Ave seniors housing complex was one of the initiatives that came out of this. Through in kind donations and Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation financing with deadlines approaching this fall, Block said the project could get finished sometime in 2014.

What might come out of this might be a continuing committee for non-profit housing. The city also provided $15,000 this year to go toward a housing study that will be geared to attracting development to the area.

The new study with have an increased emphasis on market rental and purchase, Block said.