Consultant Assisting City with Supportive Housing Proposal
November 26, 2013
The City of Courtenay’s proposed supportive housing project at 810 Braidwood Road has taken another step forward. At Monday’s City Council meeting, Council members voted to engage a social planning consultant to help prepare a request for proposals for the project.
John Jessup & Associates, based in Nanaimo, B.C., will develop the report over the next 18 weeks. The report is tentatively scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014.
Mr. Jessup has considerable social planning experience. He worked for the City of Vancouver as a social housing planner and senior housing planner from 1980 to 2000. Since then, as a private social housing development consultant, he has completed 10 projects on time and on budget. The projects include a total of 239 beds or units, ranging from seniors assisted living, to emergency shelters, to supportive housing. The projects are located throughout Vancouver Island in both rural and urban settings.
David Allen, the City of Courtenay’s CAO, said the City’s supportive housing project has been earmarked as Council’s top strategic priority, as identified in a strategic planning session with Council and staff in September. “We want to do everything in our power to make this project a reality,” noted Allen. “Mr. Jessop’s expertise in this area is going to be extremely valuable as we begin the planning process.”
The budget for the Braidwood Road Housing Project proposal is $10,500. The cost will be covered by a $50,000 grant from BC Housing, provided to assist with the planning and development of a supportive housing proposal. The remainder will be available to the successful proponent to assist in further developing the project.
Allen said public consultation will be a key part of any project planning. “One of the reasons we selected Mr. Jessop was his focus on early and ongoing public engagement,” he advised. “We’ll be working with the community, in particular the immediate neighbourhood, as well as with interested local non-profit stakeholders to ensure they are included in the process. At this point we’re looking at establishing a neighbourhood advisory committee, doing an initial open house, and also establishing an ad-hoc advisory committee.
“As we know, a supportive housing project in our community is long overdue, and now that we have the location we want to move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
For further information, please contact the City of Courtenay at 250-334-4441 or visit www.courtenay.ca