Lack of affordable housing is something every community deals with.

The Dik Tiy Housing Society (DTHS) is trying to lower those numbers in Smithers and have looked to Town Council for support.

The DTHS has purchased the old Hilltop Inn location in Smithers and are hoping to turn it into affordable housing units, mimicking those across the street located on 16th and Main.

While affordable housing is certainly an issue every community needs to address, Mayor Taylor Bachrach says he needs more clarification on this project before anything is finalized.

“Dik Tiy is doing some incredible work in our community and certainly affordable housing is something on everyone’s mind. This proposal brought forward by Dik Tiy is a ground changing idea for the area and will help out what seems to be a lack of affordable housing in Smithers. At this point, the DTHS is looking for a letter of support for a planning initiative regarding this project, something Council will consider going forward.”

The DTHS was formed in 2013 and provided Smithers with 19 affordable housing units on 16th and Main, that will be ready for their first occupants in mid-July.

The proposed Hilltop Inn location has potential to accommodate another 33 units.

While this project is still in the beginning stages, Councillor Greg Brown says the time is now to get a plan in place.

“Affordable housing is a challenging issue and certainly something Council wants to mitigate in our community. I’m not saying Council is approving this project, but with the amount of federal and provincial spending on housing nowadays, why not at least consider the idea. The time is now to have these conversations and hopefully, they can create some sort of feasible plan for that part of town.”

A lot of concern from Council regarding the remodeling of the Hilltop Inn was focused on the number of parking issues this new complex could create for neighboring residents.

There would also be the issue of re-zoning the building so they can accommodate guests long-term.

As of now, this project is in the beginning stages and Smithers Town Council welcomes any public feedback regarding the topic.