TERRACE city council has moved closer to helping provide more affordable housing to residents in need of it.
At its meeting last night, council voted unanimously to amend the official community plan bylaw and the zoning bylaw so the Cedars Motel at 4830 Hwy16 could be purchased and turned into about 23 affordable housing units.
The purchase is through the provincial BC Housing agency and when converted, the property will be managed by the Terrace and District Community Services Society.
“It has taken a lot of work by a lot of people to get BC Housing to do a project like this,” said councillor James Cordeiro last night.
“I wouldn’t even venture to name everyone who put time and effort into it.”
Cordeiro noted that at the Dec. 12 council public hearing about the housing proposal that he chaired in the mayor’s absence, he had a good-sized stack of paper of briefs, letters and information of the discussions back and forth with BC Housing about more local housing.
The proposal by BC Housing and the Terrace and District Community Services Society (TDCSS) required a bylaw to amend the property’s zoning.
A public hearing was held regarding the proposal to refurbish the motel’s 23 units.
Back in November of last year, TDCSS executive director Michael McFetridge described the proposal as low income housing for those on limited budgets.
At least two or three of the units would be accessible to those with physical disabilities or other limitations, McFetridge added.
Adjacent property owners have already been contacted about the idea and responses had been quite positive.
Each unit will have a kitchenette in addition to a sleeping area and bathroom. Residents will pay a fixed rate.
The city and local services agencies have for several years been exploring ways to increase the supply of affordable housing prompted in part by rising rental costs and low vacancies connected with the prospect of large scale industrial activity.
This is not the first proposal of its kind in the area as BC Housing also purchased a motel in Kitimat last spring.
The City Centre Motel in Kitimat has 24 units which will be renovated for low-income families and individuals.