After weeks, Minister Rich Coleman finally informed the City of Grand Forks about its request into the sale of Hardy View Lodge.
Grand Forks City Council previously wrote a lettered petition that asked if funds from the sale of Hardy View Lodge could be used to assist in the development of the new Habitat for Humanity project. It wasn’t what the city was looking for however as Coleman said any further inquiries should be sent to B.C. Housing.
“It was kind of disappointing at first,” said Coun. Chris Moslin.
“Basically the minister did write us back to congratulate us on our initiatives but basically told us to see Danna Locke at B.C. Housing. That was pretty frustrating.”
Danna Locke, the regional development director of B.C. Housing Development Services, originally told Moslin and the city to seek answers from Minister Coleman.
“I did receive an email from Danna just recently, and she basically says that the next step is the forwarding of a recommendation to B.C. Housing Executive Committee,” he said.
At the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities meetings, Moslin was informed the proposal was sent to the Executive Committee Meeting of B.C. Housing.
The recommendation itself is uncertain as Moslin is unsure of the status and the length of time it would take to process.
“I’m not too sure what went on but the representatives of B.C. Housing thought there would be a positive outcome,” he said. “It was approached quite carefully, considering it’s almost a precedent.”
Moslin explained that it proceeds of a sale has never been returned to a community before.
“Although I pressed them about it in UBCM, they kept saying it looked positive,” declared Moslin.
Locke was unable to comment as of press time.
As the City and Habitat wait for a response, there are three options for what could happen to the Habitat project. The first is a lock up and not working until money is available, while the second involves borrowing from B.C. Housing.
“B.C. Housing has offered money to Habitat for Humanity in low-interest loans to finish the project,” said Moslin.
“The trouble with that is the mortgages that the new owners would have to pay would go towards paying off that loan. If Habitat raises the money without those strings, then the money for the mortgage the new owners would pay would go towards the revenue stream towards building new projects.”
Moslin continued, “The third option is getting the money from B.C. Housing or someone else and be able to finish the project. We’re still waiting to see which way it’s going to turn out. It could go either way at this point.”
Since the sale of the Hardy View Lodge by B.C. Housing last June, the funds that were invested by the community into the construction of the building have been at a loss.
Hardy View Lodge was built through volunteer labour and on donated land, hence the suggestion the money through the sale be invested back into the community.
The Habitat for Humanity Boundary multiplex building on 72nd Avenue will be a seven-unit space that will house separate quarters for adults with disabilities.
The project is also linked with the Job Creation Program through the government and will be certified Built Green.
To donate toward the Habitat for Humanity project, call Director Rick Friesen at 250-442-2634.