The city of Bow Island partnered with the non-profit Rural Development Network (RDN) to develop approximately 19 acres of municipal land in an effort to address housing issues.
According to Mayor Gordon Reynolds, the municipality is struggling to attract and retain employees, especially young people and families.
With rental options almost never vacant, the chance that anyone can afford the cost of buying a home is slim.
“We really lack accessible housing, especially in rental housing,” Reynolds said. “This makes it difficult to attract workers, for the city itself as well as for many of our businesses.
Some employees come from neighboring communities in southern Alberta, Taber and Medicine Hat, but this route is not always attractive.
“It’s not always the best drive, and people don’t want to do that all the time,” Reynolds said.
Next is the Enabling Housing Choice project. Managed by the Sustainable Housing Initiative through the RDN and funded by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, the project aims to improve housing diversity in rural communities across the province.
“The land use study will focus on the Westview Lands plot on Bow Island, and we will determine how it can best be developed to meet the needs of the Town of Bow Island and its residents,” Courtney explained. , intern in the RDN project. Nguyen.
Working with Bow Island, they will provide recommendations for land construction through a land use study and engagement strategy.
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“We obviously don’t have the in-house expertise to determine what that should look like,” the mayor said.
“Do we want townhouses, do we want condos, do we want slabs on grade? What do we really need? »
Nguyen said they are completing the research and environmental analysis phase. Bow Island is one of the first municipalities to participate in the Enabling Housing Choice project.
“The engagement part is really crucial in these types of projects because we do these communities and the land use study for the residents,” Nguyen added.
Bow Island has a population of approximately 2,100 people.
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