Grand Forks, ND – The Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing has released a draft version of recommendations to elicit public and stakeholder feedback prior to its final meeting on January 9, 2013. The recommendations can be found, commented on and prioritized at www.engagetheforks.com, a community engagement internet tool recently implemented by several local community partners.
The draft recommendations follow from more than three months of commission and public conversation on the state of housing in Grand Forks and how to strengthen it. The ideas range from rental housing safety to a state supported infrastructure revolving loan fund to a local "housing dashboard".
"These recommendations came from the commission members and from all the people who have been talking about and working on this issue over the last few months," said Chair Mike Bergeron. "Before we ratify the recommendations, the committee wants to give our community one more chance to debate and improve them."
"I've been very impressed. The thoroughness of investigation and diversity of perspective really shines through," said Mayor Michael R. Brown. "Housing is not something you can ‘solve’, but it is a critical part of our economy and quality of life that our community as a whole can - and should – work to strengthen."
"What you’re seeing is really an emphasis on improving the efficiency of systems, leveraging partnerships and using information to help drive successful practices," said Bergeron. "What you're not seeing is government driven suggestions. The market and the private sector drive housing. The government’s role is more about providing a clear vision, good policy and practices, and ensuring a collaborative approach is in place to make sure profit, growth and quality of life are not mutually exclusive."
The Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing will meet one final time at 5:30 pm, January 9, 2013 in Grand Forks City Council Chambers. The commission is expected to ratify priorities and recommendations and then forward them to the appropriate stakeholders, policy makers and public.
The draft priorities are listed on www.engagetheforks.com under "Housing Commission" and the point of releasing these at this time is to solicit input. Anyone interested in leaving a comment can go to engagetheforks.com or contact Mark Schill with Praxis Strategy Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-775-3354.