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Province, Grand Forks reach deal to find new shelter

On the eve of local elections, BC Housing and the City of Grand Forks have signed a memorandum of understanding to find a new location for the Hardy View shelter at 2320 78th Ave.

The shelter is operating under a temporary use permit and is set to close by March 31.

According to a news release issued this afternoon by the province, the city will propose municipally-owned properties or other sites that may be suitable for a new shelter or supportive housing building for BC Housing’s consideration.

BC Housing will then evaluate the proposed sites and handle all aspects of designing, building and securing funding for the project.

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In addition, BC Housing will explore the sale of the property at 7382 2nd St., the former site of the Grand Forks Hotel, to the city for future development of a new affordable housing project. A supportive housing project was earmarked for the site in 2018. However, it met with community opposition.

BC Housing would work with the city to identify suitable funding programs for the building and update the public as these discussions progress, the release said.

“New affordable housing is needed across the province and our government is committed to doing our part to ensure supply keeps up with demand,” housing minister Murray Rankin said in the release.

“We’re proud to partner with the City of Grand Forks and I look forward to working collaboratively to deliver housing solutions that meet the needs of people in the community.”

“The council and province have worked together to find mutually agreeable and beneficial strategies to help solve the housing crunch in Grand Forks,” mayor Brian Taylor said in the release.

“This memorandum sets the tone for upcoming collaboration, ensuring any new housing meets the needs of the community and is built in the most suitable locations.”

Taylor singled out councillor Everett Baker for taking on the project as council’s liaison to BC Housing.

Both the city and BC Housing agree that there are better locations for a shelter or supportive housing project than the 7382 2nd St. and 2320-78th Ave. sites, the release said.

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