A city strategy to deal with affordable housing may not be ready for city administration until the end of the year, said Sandy Trudel, the city’s economic development officer.
“There aren’t a lot of unexpecteds in this,” Trudel said. “We are looking at it …as what are the strategies that are working effectively across Canada and how do they make sense here? Or how don’t they make sense here given our current challenges?”
Trudel said it’s unlikely a brand-new solution will emerge, and the most likely way forward is a hybrid of some ideas already tried elsewhere, but not in Brandon.
“Affordable housing is a national issue,” Trudel said. “It’s something that people have been working at for a long time. The really important part is making that tailored solution. There is no real cookie-cutter solution that will work. No two communities are identical.”
Trudel presented a provisional report to city council about her work on the affordable housing issue in Brandon, where she noted that as many as 400 affordable housing units could be converted into market rent housing in the next 15 years, further straining the attainable housing for the city’s low-income residents.
“There are some communities where multi-family development in other communities may be significantly lower than single family developments are,” Trudel said. “They will need a broader strategies relative to stimulating that market segment,” Trudel said. “In Brandon, both of our segments are growing at an equal pace. It’s taking the knowledge of your local market and understanding where you need a caused shift.”
Trudel said while the full housing market “takes care of itself” and the lowest end has several groups working on solutions, the blended solution involves focusing on the low-to-mid-range housing options.
She was not able to say when the full plan would be at the city council table for a full debate, but her goal to complete the plan by Dec. 31 is to allow city administration to review it and chart a suggested course.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 31, 2012