Housing co-op elects board, expands mandate

The group working on creating a co-operative housing project in Fort St. James has elected their board.

The group working on creating a co-operative housing project in Fort St. James has elected their board.

Twenty-five members of the 116 member group have taken the next step in the project, electing a board, establishing a mission statement, bringing forward some resolutions and beginning to build a vision.

The board will consist of Pete Valk as chair, Joyce Helweg as vice-chair, Sandra Davidson as treasurer and Judy Greenaway as secretary. Joan Beaman, Larry Taylor, and Jim Wasylenko are also board members.

So far, the group has resolved to restrict membership to one member being allowed to own up to a maximum of $20,000 in shares of the co-op.

The mission statement is: To provide quality, affordable housing in the District of Fort St. James and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Area C.

The vision for the group is still being developed, however, they are not restricting themselves to only seniors housing.

With ideals encompassing affordability and sustainability, they want to keep the group open enough to help follow and provide for the needs of the area, said Pete Valk.

A housing study recently completed for the District of Fort St. James identifies seniors’ housing is a major priority, so the group will still focus in on this to begin with, but will work to fill the needs as they change in the community.

The group will hold their next meeting on Dec. 2 and plan on going after some seed funding to help them develop a business plan for the organization and they will also be incorporating.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” said Valk of the work they have done so far.