The Oscar Street townhouses are an example of affordable housing in Revelstoke. They opened in early 2016. (File)

UPDATE: Housing Needs and Demands Assessment to inform City of ‘actual demand’: Fricot

Report to be fully covered by Columbia Basin Trust grant

UPDATE: March 27: The Revelstoke Housing Needs and Demands Survey is now available. It can be found online here or filled out at the Revelstoke Community Centre. The survey is open until April 6.

ORIGINAL: The City of Revelstoke has taken the first step towards gaining a better understanding of the local housing landscape.

In January, the City put out a request for proposal (RFP) for the Housing Needs and Demands Assessment. When the tender period closed, the City had received five bids: Dillon Consulting for $19,000, Urban Matters for $18,900, Stephanie Melnyk for $20,000, City Spaces for $19,920 and Urbanics Consultants Ltd. for $21,000.

In a report to City Council on March 13, Nicole Fricot, director of community economic development, said the bids were evaluated based on their price, the contractor’s profile and references, the proposed approach and methodology and the value added.

“Based on these criteria, staff have awarded the contract to Dillon Consulting,” the report said.

The Housing Needs and Demands Assessment will not cost taxpayers money. The City received a grant of $20,000 from Columbia Basin Trust to put towards it.

Fricot said that while a similar report has been done internally, to her knowledge, a Housing Needs and Demands Assessment performed by an outside contractor has not been done yet. Fricot began her position with the City just over a year ago.

She said the City is aware that there is a need for housing and that this report is a first step towards “attainable” and affordable housing.

“We know there is a demand for housing,” she said.

The Housing Needs and Demands Assessment goes beyond the surface question of ‘do we need more housing?’ and looks at the current housing stock, the future need, and gives a better idea of what type of housing would be needed.

“It can tell us the actual demand,” said Fricot.

The Housing Needs and Demands Assessment began on March 14 and is expected to be complete by the end of June.

RELATED: City receives $100,000 Rural Dividend grant

According to Fricot’s report to Council, “The Housing Needs and Demands Assessment will use a mixed-methods approach, consisting of quantitative analysis to develop a baseline understanding of the current housing needs and qualitative data from key stakeholder interviews and an online community survey to determine the demand.”

The key stakeholder list will be developed by staff and the community survey will be available online and on paper.

Once complete, the Housing Needs and Demands Assessment will put the City of Revelstoke in a better place to apply to BC Housing for future affordable housing projects.

The next step, will be the development of a housing strategy, which was funded by a BC Rural Dividend grant. Fricot said the development of the housing strategy will begin once the Housing Needs and Demands Assessment wraps up.



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