Quesnel City Council is giving BC Housing until the end of the month to comply with three conditions with respect to the proposed Supportive Housing project on Elliott Street.
They are receipt of an operation model for the facility to be tied to the Housing Agreement, a Housing Agreement bylaw that has received three readings and a Good Neighbour Agreement with the operator of the facility and the required stakeholders.
Mayor Bob Simpson suggested the time frame, saying that if BC Housing can’t get the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society to complete the agreements in time, then they can put out an RFP for someone else to run it…
“Because there are other service providers that will give us a Good Neighbour Agreement in a heartbeat, give us a Housing Agreement in a heartbeat and tell us exactly what they want to do with that facility over there that would address all of the public’s concerns.”
Simpson says what he is hearing from the public is that they support a 6 1/2 million dollar housing project but not the shelter component or the drop-in services such as harm reduction and meals.
That sentiment was echoed by all of Council, including by Laurey-Anne Roodenburg…
“This is what our community is concerned about, that they’re going to revert back to what Seasons House is now and that’s the biggest argument that is out there for anyone around wanting to see a supportive housing happen versus what is going on right now.”
Once these three requests are met that would be followed by a brand new open house by BC Housing followed by a brand new public hearing.
Until then the rezoning process and changes to the Official Community Plan will remain on hold.
The vote was unanimous, although City Councillor Ron Paull noted that he was a little uncomfortable with another public hearing and would prefer to start over from scratch.