If you missed yesterday evening’s Community Housing Discussion at Gallery 2, there’s a couple more opportunities today. On Wednesday the Recovery Team and Urban Matters helped explore what residents have appreciated in the past, and envision for the future of Grand Forks housing.

Mayor Brian Taylor had some opening remarks before the engagement kicked off. “I think some of the resources that we’re getting through government, through flood recovery are excellent opportunities but again we need diligence to shape them and make them work in some ways, as I said before taking the resources that are being offered and making sure we get the best bang for them right here in town.”

Lee Provost with Urban Matters explains that this is phase 3 of their strategy. “The intent was to get anybody who didn’t having housing after the flooding into safe and secure shelter for the next 6 months. We’re entering into phase 3, this is how do we provide housing, where are we gonna relocate housing in the community for people that lost their homes in the flood and are now in emergency housing.”

Throughout the evening groups lapped around Gallery 2 moving from station to station offering their input. The stations were Entertainment and Recreation, Transportation, Employment, and Services and Amenities. Some common themes between groups were a need for more parking, specifically downtown, and a preference in walking and biking as opposed to driving. Some opinions floating around the Transportation station included a need for more parking, better lighting, and a lower speed limit downtown. A few ideas at the Employment station included more opportunities for young business people, and more residential second floors downtown. MLA Linda Larson was also present. More of these meetings run at the Gallery today from 12PM to 3PM and the last one from 6PM to 9PM.

Also, Recovery Manager Graham Watt shared details on upcoming housing appraisals. He says the appraisals are a part of a funding application, and the Recovery Team has until January 11th put together a proposal. “And if we are given the go-ahead on the funding application then it provides that bases for negotiation so we want to be completely transparent about it, we’re running on what council advised for those buyout areas, in terms of considering the pre-flood value as well as any improvements post flood.”

Watt adds that a firm hasn’t yet been hired, and communication will be provided to the community when they have dates. A Boundary Flood Recovery Update Meeting is coming to Grand Forks Secondary School’s Bistro November 21st.