The City of Grand Forks and the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) reached an agreement that will provide housing through the relocation of houses currently located within the floodplain restoration area in North Ruckle, Grand Forks. Up to 10 houses will be moved and another 10 modular houses constructed in three potential areas, providing much-needed housing for Grand Forks residents.
“The 2018 flood was like nothing Grand Forks has seen in its history, and brought tremendous destruction and upheaval for residents,” said Mayor Brian Taylor. “We are also facing a serious housing crisis. Saving some of these homes from the floodplain area is a silver lining, and we are very grateful to the Osoyoos Indian Band for making this opportunity a reality. We really value the relationship the City is developing with OIB and look forward to continuing it.”
The Osoyoos Indian Band has agreed to lead the house moving and land development for three potential building sites. The OIB will move the houses from their current location within the floodplain restoration area, set them on new foundations, and undertake any necessary repairs or updates. The OIB’s Development Corporation has the skills and financial capacity to lead the development without financial risk for the City.
“The Osoyoos Indian Band has developed a good business relationship with the City of Grand Forks,” said Chief Clarence Louie. “We look forward to developing this housing project, which sits on the Osoyoos Indian Band’s traditional territory.”
Once the houses are moved, repaired, and connected to services, they will be offered for sale to the public. Any of the City’s net revenue from this shared partnership will be returned to the City’s Flood Mitigation Program.
“Housing is a foundation to thriving communities, and creative solutions to our housing challenges are always exciting to me,” said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen. “This partnership between the Osoyoos Indian Band and the City of Grand Forks is a great example of an environmental, social, and economic win: recycle-reuse writ large, adding rapid housing solutions, building community partnerships, and increasing local economic activity. All that means our local people win—congratulations to everyone involved with this innovative project.”
Header Image Credit: City of Grand Forks.