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Town of Hay River to prepare community housing plan

The Town of Hay River and the NWT Housing Corporation will be entering into an agreement to create a community housing plan. Most recently, the corporation has been building RCMP housing at several locations in the community. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

A community housing plan will be completed for Hay River.

On March 22, town council directed administration to enter into a participation agreement with the NWT Housing Corporation to complete such a plan

"They want to assess, basically, what are the needs in the community as far as types of housing, size of housing, multifamily type units," said Deputy Mayor Robert Bouchard, adding the plan is in line with what is needed in Hay River.

Bouchard noted Hay River will be the first large community in the NWT to get such a plan.

"We will basically get everybody's input on housing needs in the community," he said. "So I think it's right up our alley with what we want."

Mayor Kandis Jameson also welcomed the community housing plan.

"There's more than just that we'll know what we need," she said. "I think that it will back up a lot of the applications that we put forward. So I really think it's an exciting thing."

The plan will be targeted for completion in 2021.

According to background material provided to town council, a community housing plan is a document that sets a strategic direction for housing within a community and supports potential investment opportunities.

The plan presents current and future housing needs through research, and includes consultation with community members and organizations. It considers social, cultural, economic, environmental, and other factors that impact housing situations and demand.

The NWT Housing Corporation's goal is to establish a plan for each community in the territory.

Through the proposed partnership agreement with Hay River, the town would provide one representative to sit on an advisory committee and offer advice throughout the project.

The aim is for the committee to also include a representative from each of West Point First Nation, the Hay River Metis Government Council and K'atlodeeche First Nation. Other committee members would represent groups such as housing providers, developers, seniors, youth, and the business community.

The NWT Housing Corporation would be responsible for costs associated with completing the plan, including consulting costs, while the town would provide meeting space.

A consultant would conduct community engagements, gather information, analyze findings and draft the housing plan document.