City of Kamloops welcomes new national housing strategy

By Greg Fry
November 22, 2017 - 2:12pm Updated: November 23, 2017 - 6:04pm

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops and the HomeFree Collective are pleased with the federal government's newly announced national housing plan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the plan today, saying as many as 300,000 Canadian households will be helped by a new portable housing benefit between 2021 and 2028.

The $15.9-billion dollar fund will create 60,000 new affordable housing units, repair 240,000 more through grants, prioritize mixed-income developments and offer increased investment to communities to meet the needs of the chronically homeless, youth, veterans and Indigenous people.

"I think it's an ambitious strategy and I commend the federal government for going down this road," said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian. "I think it's a problem not unique to Kamloops or B.C. but clearly a national situation and one they're starting to address."

So, how would he assess Kamloops' needs?

"We need to look at about 2,000 units across that continuum and our strategies are really designed to address various points on the continuum and provide housing where it's needed the most."

Christian added he isn't concerned about the funding timeline.

"It's a bit out there in terms of the future but the reality is the planning of these projects takes a fair bit of time and there's often a lot of moving parts, particularly amassing the land and getting the zoning correct, and then establishing a budget and finding a contractor," Christian said. "While it seems a long way off this is a start and you never get to the finish line unless you're at the starting line."

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