by Andru McCracken

Are you paying too much for rent and utilities for housing that is unsightly, unsafe, or inefficient? Are you looking for the security of homeownership but have been turned down for a mortgage, or are you just discouraged because of the state of housing stock in Valemount? Are you hoping to move into a senior’s unit, but can’t stand train noise? Would you consider living in affordable rental housing, but need more than two bedrooms for your family?

If any of these apply to you, you’ll want to consider attending the upcoming housing forum hosted by the Village of Valemount’s housing committee Tues. Jan 15th 7 pm at the Valemount Community Hall. Local and provincial organizations will have tables to provide information on community services and potential housing options and collecting information on needs in the community.

Housing committee chair Rashmi Narayan said the meeting will provide residents a chance to provide input to the Village and partners as they move affordable housing projects forward.

Narayan said stakeholders like the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society, Eldercare, the Valemount Seniors’ Housing Society will have a chance to look for potential partners. Narayan said employers who are hard pressed to find employee housing could also gain by coming.

Last year the Village’s housing committee hired a Prince George-based consultant to look at three potential locations for affordable housing. Those sites will be examined during the meeting.

Narayan also said people will have the chance to express interest in a shared equity housing project.

She said the project would be subsidized by government also have an ownership component.

“We want to find out what people want for housing,” said Narayan. “We want to hear input or concerns – things that our survey wasn’t able to [capture].”

Narayan said there would be a chance to talk about the different models of housing that are possible and how community members can participate.

Narayan said that, for example, many residents require storage areas for recreational vehicles, snowmobiles and bikes, something that needs to be considered in advance.

“We need to plan to have more storage areas for rec vehicles and sleds,” she said.