Province pulls strings

Red Deer’s first provincially required Community Service Delivery Plan for affordable housing may have come with strings attached by the province itself, council heard on Monday.

Red Deer’s first provincially required Community Service Delivery Plan for affordable housing may have come with strings attached by the province itself, council heard on Monday.

Earlier this year, the province announced a 10-year plan to end homelessness. Red Deer was allocated $1.1 million in operational funding for it.

The city would have to create a city council-endorsed “community service delivery plan” to receive that money.

The plan would show how Red Deer’s own 10-year plan endorsed in 2008 fits in with Alberta’s plan.

It would have to identify what needs to be done, who would deliver those services and what it hopes to achieve.

That plan would then have to be updated annually for the province.

Stacey Carmichael, co-ordinator for community leadership initiatives with the Red Deer and District Community Foundation, took on the project, presented to the Community Advisory Board on Housing in early June.

Council was told the province wanted ongoing funding maintained for Buffalo Hotel Housing First Project at $584,750 and Harbour Housing First Project at $342,402.

The rest of the $1.1 million could come as the community advisory board saw fit — City of Red Deer administration fees ($22,000), Central Alberta Women’s Outreach’s community outreach team ($150,848) .

The Buffalo Hotel project helps 40 individuals with multiple issues to get off the streets and into a place where staff is on hand 24 hours a day. The Harbour House project provides start-up basic needs and furnishings.

Councillor Gail Parks opposed giving that much money to the Buffalo project when a number of other organizations were left out.

Carmichael said the service delivery plan was used by the Community Advisory Board towards making its recommendations for funding.

Roxana Nielsen Stewart, program co-ordinator for housing for the city, said the city supported the housing first projects but was unaware of the province’s specific funding requests.

Other decisions made Monday:

• Proposed dog bylaw is set over to Monday July 13

• Meeting between City of Red Deer and Red Deer County regarding the purchase of Canyon Ski Area delayed until July 27 or July 28.

• The city will give $35,900 in cash or services towards Red Deer’s Jan. 15 celebrations when the 2010 Olympic torch comes to town.

• Ronald McDonald House becomes a permitted use for the proposed site near Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Support is also given for unconstructed road to be closed for project.

• Public art at four public buildings is approved

• City council receives report for information concerning Active, Creative, Engaged application for the north of Red Deer

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