Housing has been an issue in the province and in Humboldt for over a year now and the City of Humboldt is taking steps to address the problem.
The City of Humboldt is attempting to create a comprehensive housing development plan. Part of that plan includes the appointment of a task force of stakeholders to identify the community's needs in housing.
"We're looking for ideas on what the city can do to support affordable, entry-level, and social housing," said Mayor Malcolm Eaton.
The recognition that access to safe and affordable housing and the appropriate support services are critical elements in the city's Strategic Plan.
The task force is to assist in the creation of strategies that will create affordable, quality homes for all people within a sustainable community environment, explained a report prepared by City Manager James Moller. Affordable housing is defined as adequate and appropriate shelter that does not exceed 30 per cent of a household's gross monthly income.
The Community Housing Needs Task Force will focus specifically on affordable housing, including ownership and rental opportunities and prepare a report which will identify possible solutions to address the needs and issues in the community.
The task force will also be asked to develop strategies at raising awareness within the community of the city's policies and initiatives on affordable housing.
Councillor Marilyn Scott will act as chair of the task force, while Mayor Malcolm Eaton, City Manager James Moller, and the city's Community Development Manager will also be on the committee.
The task force will also include two community representatives, along with representatives from the Humboldt Housing Authority, the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce, the Humboldt Senior Citizens Club, Partners for Rural Family Support, St. Peter's College/Carlton Trail Regional College, and the Prairie Innovation Enterprise Region.
The city will be approaching those organizations for names of people to appoint to the task force.
The task force will hear and consider representations made by community organizations or individuals that deal with housing programs.
The task force is a short-term committee that will submit its final report, which will include non-binding recommendations, to council by April 2011.