City of Grand Forks to rent previously flooded properties

Council also approved letting a resident salvage from his old home.

The City of Grand Forks will be using some of the flooded properties previously purchased, for rentals.

In a regular council meeting on Aug. 31, the city selected minimally damaged properties they plan to renovate and rent for eight to 10 months.

These properties were acquired through the flood mitigation land acquisition program.

Council is now considering renting 10 to 15 buildings on these properties deemed either immediately rentable, or rentable with minimal required work to the properties.

Since 2018 the City has been in the process of buying back the 77 properties flooded during that year.

Of these, 30 are being considered by the City as movable to new properties within the city.

In their meeting, the City proposed handing over the administrative duties of the rentals to a local property manager.

READ MORE: Rebuilding fees highlight decision at Aug. 17 council

The majority of council voted in support of renting the properties, with the goal of developing better neighbourhoods, keeping the properties from deteriorating, as well as generating additional revenue for the city. Councillor Zak Eburne-Stoodley was the sole vote of opposition.

If empty, they could cost up to $40,000, according to the city, while providing $30,000 to $40,000 based on renting 10 homes for eight months at a rate that provides $500 net revenue a month.

According to the city though, the primary goal is not revenue, but filling the need for rentals in Grand Forks. That need has been a topic of conversation at previous council meetings.

Following the movement of the buildings to new locations, some of them would be sold while others retained, to fill the need for rentals in the city.

Council also heard a proposal from a resident asking to be allowed to salvage windows and the boiler from their former property on 79th Avenue. The property was one of those damaged in the 2018 flooding and subsequently bought back by the city.

Following the flooding, the owner installed new windows and a boiler that could be easily removed, with the understanding and verbal agreement with the city that they would be allowed to remove them after the property had been sold.

Council was unanimous in allowing the salvage of the windows and boiler, in exchange for a salvage fee and the resident securing the building with plywood over the empty windows.

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