A housing sell-off motion was one of many big-ticket items discussed at Monday’s council meeting.
Coun. Don Mitchell made a motion regarding the provincial government’s initiative announcement to sell-off 114 of 124 existing Moose Jaw Housing Authority public single-family housing units. The units will be replaced by new housing and the City of Moose Jaw was not consulted on the initiative. The majority of council voted against his motion for the mayor and council to express their opposition and concern over the announced plans.
There will also be a public information meeting today at 6:30 p.m. at city hall involving the provincial deputy minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing.
“I believe that this (provincial government) initiative this time around will add to the housing options for low-income families in Moose Jaw,” said Coun. Heather Eby after telling a personal story with her experience with low-income housing. “It will give some the chance to live in a brand new home that they may otherwise never have the opportunity to do and it will give others the opportunity to buy affordable homes as current housing stock is sold off.”
In his motion, Mitchell stated the affordable public housing units were financed and constructed over 60 years through city, provincial and federal government agreements. He said there is a long waiting list of families wishing to access the homes and the units are in established neighbourhoods with nearby services such as schools.
“It is over a period of time a valuable resource for families, low-income families starting in to have access to housing units in neighbourhoods close to schools,” said Mitchell. “To sell it off without consultation or weighing of the alternatives I think is a bit of an insult frankly to the city and clearly agencies that are dealing with the families, the clients in these houses recognize that it would be a setback.”
For more information, see Tuesday's edition of the Times-Herald.