The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) has given the City of Fernie a generous $770,000 grant to assist with two community projects. The first project is the Mountainview Dike Upgrade, and the second is the completion of a Housing Needs Report.
The Mountainview Dike Upgrade project addresses recommendations in the City of Fernie Flood Mitigation Plan. Planned for 2020 with Phase 1 requiring $750,000 of the available funding, the money will be going towards installing new permanent structural flood protection works. In doing so, the new installation seeks to close gaps in the current diking system to protect the facilities, homes, municipal infrastructure, and recreation amenities throughout the community. A portion of the funds are also allotted to upgrading and repairing the existing dike.
“This project is another important step towards increasing our Community’s resiliency to future flood risk,” explained Mayor Ange Qualizza. “We are fortunate to have an excellent document in the Flood Mitigation Plan to guide our planning, and to have government funding to support these important initiatives.”
The remaining $20,000 will be used to assist the completion of a Housing Needs Assessment. The assessment pinpoints current and future community housing needs, and must be completed by every municipality within B.C.
“Housing needs continue to define the significant challenges faced by resort communities, which is why Council prioritized moving through the newly defined Housing Needs Report Program,” said Qualizza.
Qualizza also stated that the report is a useful tool in directing local governments to accurately report on housing needs both quantitatively and qualitatively, asserting that it will help the City put together a housing strategy that addresses Fernie’s unique housing needs.
Budgeting $50,000 for the Housing Needs Assessment, the City of Fernie is thankful for the financial aid provided by the UBCM Housing Needs Reports Program, as well as the financial support being used for the Mountainview Dike Upgrade.