Fort St. John will be welcoming a new seniors housing complex on 9804-106th Avenue.
City Council decided on Monday night to transfer the property for one dollar to the Ministry of Housing and Social Development to construct seniors and disabled housing. The modular housing will be constructed early next year.
It will consist of up to ten units, and accommodate up to 35 people.
However, Councilor Larry Evans says many seniors he had talked to, were not in favor of the new housing complex. He says seniors want more housing on that piece of land.
[asset|aid=1415|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=42f03b6519d97a8dd97d82eacb987a3e-Evans- senior housing 1_1_Pub.mp3]
President of Save Our Northern Seniors, Jean Leahy, says she doesn’t support the project. She says the city has a lot of power with the Provincial Government, and it could pressure the government to receive more housing.
She says she wants to know what’s stopping the Province from building a two-story complex in the same location. She says it feels like the seniors are being blackmailed, into either taking the project or leaving it.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bruce Lantz says the piece of land isn’t the only land in the city. He says he wants to take what the city can get right now.
[asset|aid=1416|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=42f03b6519d97a8dd97d82eacb987a3e-Lantz- seniors housing 2_1_Pub.mp3]
The decision stems after the Provincial Government announced in April that the city would be receiving funding for the project. Lantz says he was in negotiations, to see if the province would buy the land from the city.
He says the province wasn’t willing to purchase the land, but the cost of the land transfer and site cleanup will be borne by the Ministry of Housing and Development.
Councilors also decided on Monday night, that the city will host a public meeting on the matter, to discuss the new housing complex with the community.