Kitimat Housing Action plan released

Plan lays out a number of recommendations for Kitimat to combat housing pressures.

(The full plan can be found here.)

After much anticipation, a government Housing Action Plan for Kitimat was publicly released earlier this month.

The report puts down a number of recommendations for Kitimat to deal with housing challenges on a number of fronts, from worker housing to affordable housing.

“As a small community heavily dependent on industry, Kitimat is affected by changes in housing demand that are closely associated with decisions of major industries,” says a portion of the report’s key findings.

“Although it is difficult to quantify, a number of people with low incomes…are unable to afford higher rents for suitable housing.”

The report goes on to provide a number of recommendations. One is for continued funding for the Extreme Weather Response shelter, which operated in Kitimat last winter. The reports points out eight people used it last year, but Kitimat’s housing resource workers “observe that the number of people sleeping rough has visibly increased in 2014.”

The report also highlights a need for a “second-stage” transitional house which would give women and children a place to live for up to two years while looking for permanent housing.

On the matter of rent supplements, the report says there is a need to make existing rental subsidy programs more widely known and promoted, by the District of Kitimat and outreach workers.

“BC Housing should consider adding 10 or more rent supplements and increasing the threshold limits for both programs,” says the report, which includes a suggestion for the increasing of the annual gross housing maximum, which is currently $35,000 for the Rental Assistance Program.

The report also touches on the issue of temporary workers housing. In it the report says that living out allowances should not be acceptable, “as they quickly and artificially inflate rental rates in a small community.”

This opposition to living out allowances, the report continues, should be conveyed to proponents of future projects, and to their contractors.

Rio Tinto Alcan had offered living out allowances earlier in the modernization project but have since discontinued that offer.

We spoke with Chevron about their perspective on Kitimat’s housing — given they have an up-to 600 bed permitted camp near the former Eurocan plant now — and they say that camp is designed to reduce stress to Kitimat’s housing market.

“It’s strictly designed to mitigate social impacts to the community that might be associated with our project construction and the number of workers that we need,” said Gillian Robinson Riddell from Chevron’s communications department. “Our goal is always, with our social investment plan, is that we’re not negatively impacting communities we do business in.”

Their camp is self-contained and they even use Eurocan’s former landfill for waste.

 

Just Posted

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

DoK delays third reading of TSW land rezoning

Decision on hold until another public hearing is held

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

Kitimat home assessment values soar

Values increase based on LNG Canada development

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Most Read