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City looking to make dent in affordable housing crisis

Grande Prairie city councillors will soon vote on using up to $879,723 from Provincial Affordable Housing Grant funding to purchase land for affordable housing projects. It comes after its Infrastructure and Protective Services committee recommended working with Habitat for Humanity to build more affordable housing in the area.

Mayor Bill Given says the scope of the grant will go far beyond what’s needed by the non-profit organization.

“The amount of money that is considered today will likely be more than we need to support just the Habitat for Humanity project and it will give us the ability to acquire land to support other affordable housing projects in the future.”

While the City of Grande Prairie hasn’t looked at buying land in any specific area, it would be one step closer to making a purchase a reality.

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The recently released Affordable Housing Master Plan states that, if nothing changes, Grande Prairie will be in a deficit of affordable housing until at least 2030. Given adds it’s something city council needs to try and get a grip on before the issue spirals out of control.

“Today we have a number of individuals who are on extremely long wait lists, and so I think it’s the responsibility of the city and city council to make a dent in that issue.”

Given believes the introduction of the master plan, as well as the development Affordable Housing Corporation, should help address the deficit in a substantial way. It’s expected the grant will be voted on at the May 6th council meeting.

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