Yorkton’s Housing Committee will continue to work beyond its initial one-year mandate.
City Council decided at the February 28, 2011, regular council meeting to establish the Housing Committee.
“The tenure of this committee was to be one year. The purpose of the committee was to solicit input from both the public and industry to evaluate, and provide recommendations to Council,” explained Faisal Anwar, the City’s Economic Development Officer.
In extending the mandate, there were also changes to the terms of reference for the committee.
“The deliverables of this committee included preparing and developing a long term plan for implementation over 10 years. The short term objectives of the committee were provided to City Council in early 2011,” said Anwar.
“The committee has now prepared a five-year community housing plan. An outcome of that plan was the development of new terms of reference.”
The major changes to the Housing Committee in Terms of Reference are:
*The purpose of the committee is to continue to review the 10-year Housing Business Plan to ensure its targets and objectives are sufficient to meet Yorkton’s housing needs in relation to affordability and suitability.
*The tenure of the Committee shall match the new four-year term of municipal government effective November, 2012.
At Monday’s meeting a five-year community housing plan to accommodate housing needs of all groups living in Yorkton, was also approved by Council.
“This plan was developed by the Housing Committee in collaboration with City administration. It is intended to give direction to organizations and agencies responsible for providing housing within this community,” said Anwar. “This plan identifies where attention should be focused in the future to address these gaps.”
With specific objectives and actions, “This plan will contribute to the vibrancy of the city by improving the housing situation through a cooperative and proactive approach,” added Anwar.
Tom Seeley, co-chair of the Housing Committee reminded Council, “The Community Housing Plan provides strategies to assist the city in bridging housing gaps identified from the housing needs assessment study.”
Ron Skinner the second co-chair said to meet the goal the committee has established a vision, which is “The City of Yorkton will strive to be a community that offers a variety of housing densities, types and options to meet the needs of its residents.”
Skinner added the Mission Statement is that “The City of Yorkton will actively work with all sectors of the community including builders and developers, community organizations, businesses and all governments to support a housing market which will provide adequate, accessible and affordable housing for all Yorkton residents, through planning and collaboration.”
In terms of specifics Seeley said the three main goals are;
*Facilitate and enhance the range of affordable and adequate and accessible housing options
*Encourage the provision of non-market, near-market and market housing options
*Create and facilitate a favourable environment for housing in the city
Anwar said the plan is a foundation to build on.
“Administration believes this plan can be used as a framework in addressing future housing issues. Having adequate and affordable housing in this community in the future will allow the city to grow its commercial and industrial base. Housing is a key component of economic development of a community,” he said.