By early to mid-December, Winkler city council wants to gather all the players in the city's housing sector to determine the value and possible mandate of a housing task force.
"Whether it's building, social housing, you name it - any piece of anything attached to housing," explains mayor Henry Siemens. "We know that housing affordability - from a purchase home to a renting piece - is difficult. We know that simply having enough housing is a challenge right now. We want to have a conversation with all of the people that are involved in housing to find out what the concerns are, and then what we can do as a community to be able to move that forth and maybe even find out, is a housing task force needed?"
Siemens acknowledges the need for housing and the numerous good builders and providers who work hard to address that need.
"But what we're starting to feel is that some of that maybe is happening in a silo and not everyone is involved in every conversation and maybe different groups have to relearn things that other groups have maybe already learned. If we can bring everybody to the table to have that conversation at the same time, share best practices, we believe that there's some operational efficiencies, some knowledge efficiencies and maybe even some capacity efficiencies that can be gained from that."
The initial meeting could involve 18 to 25 people.
"We just trying to get the invite list together now. As soon as we have that, our expectation is that we can invite those people to the meeting and then have that conversation," said Siemens. "I would imagine that we'll hit the ground running early in the new year."
~With files from Pam Fedack~
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