Letter: Both market and affordable housing needed in McBride

To the Editors
We would like to clarify information around McBride and District Housing Society, the Village of McBride, and Robson Valley Legacy to prevent misinformation from being generated.
McBride and District Housing Society (MDHS) was formed last May after Robson Health Association held a public meeting to assess the interest of the community in pursuing the solutions to the problem of the perceived housing shortage in McBride. The Society was formed from interested community members with the support of the Village Council and the CAO.
“McBride and District Housing Society’s vision is that, in the area they serve, there will be an evolving housing supply that is appropriate for all.” Our mission is that “McBride and District Housing Society will advocate and/or partner with developers and government to facilitate appropriate housing solutions.” To fulfil our mission and vision, we work collaboratively with various organizations and developers to address the wide range of housing needs. Robson Valley Legacy, Robson Valley Community Services, Regional District Rep and the Village Council have all been invited to attend our meetings to reduce the incidence of redundancy in efforts being expended by different groups to provide the needed housing. Our meetings are also open to the public.
MDHS’s immediate area of focus is to provide affordable housing for families and seniors in McBride.
“Affordable housing” is rental housing which is subsidized by BC Housing so that low income tenants are not paying more than 30% of their income for housing. “Market Housing” rent is set by the owner and is not subsidized.
Robson Valley Legacy is a private company planning on developing senior housing in McBride in which the rents are not subsidized (“market housing”). As our mandates are different but our purpose of improving the housing requirements are the same, we compliment and fully support each others’ projects to fulfil the needs of the community.
Last fall the Village of McBride, with a grant from Northern Initiative Development hired David Nairn and Associates to conduct a “needs and demand housing study” for the McBride area. The study confirmed that both “affordable” and “market” housing are needed and are in demand by the residents of the area. An updated housing study is required by BC Housing prior to applying for funding. The McBride Housing Assessment Report is a public document and can be found on the Village’s website: www.mcbride.ca/village-office/housing
Currently the McBride and District Housing Society is awaiting the next call from the government for applications for proposals for the development of affordable housing. The Society and the Village council are working closely together to submit this application and ensure that we can move forward with our development plan.
Yours truly

The Board of Directors
McBride and District Housing Society

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