The Town of Smithers has purchased two lots located at 3888 and 3896 Railway Avenue for the purpose of future affordable housing development.
The purchase supports council’s strategic priority of facilitating additional affordable housing, particularly through supportive housing projects.
“We saw an opportunity to acquire a property we feel is well suited for affordable housing, which is among council’s highest priorities,” said Mayor Taylor Bachrach. “Building and operating affordable housing projects requires a partnership between provincial and municipal governments and local housing organizations. While the town itself does not plan to build new housing, we continue to participate in discussions with other agencies and seek collaborative solutions to ensure all residents have access to appropriate housing.”
The Smithers Action Group Association has been working for several years on a concept for a supportive housing project to provide stable housing for residents who face multiple barriers, such as mental illness and addictions.
“Should the Smithers Action Group Association’s project prove feasible, the property we have purchased is a potential location,” said Bachrach.
It’s a move that is being welcomed by the group.
“We are extremely pleased with this news,” said association board member, Lydia Howard. “The purchase of these properties shows the council’s real commitment to removing barriers to affordable housing. We look forward to continued discussions with Council, and the wider community, in regards to whether this location may prove suitable for SAGA’s supportive housing project.”
The two 25-foot vacant lots are located at the corner of Queen Street and Railway Avenue adjacent to the Smithers town hall parking lot.
By Bill Phillips