Council approved funding for the 70 Arlington Dr. roundtables on Monday night, allowing the discussions to begin next week.
Mayor Nolan Crouse, who presented the recommendation to council, said the city would pay the new consultant, Populus Community Planning, Inc., $25,000 to facilitate the sessions and present a report to council on May 17.
“This just identifies the funding and where it’s coming from,” said Crouse.
The roundtable talks were created to bring residents from the Akinsdale neighbourhood, Habitat for Humanity and Apollo Developments together to discuss an acceptable affordable housing project for the green space.
Residents in the neighbourhood expressed outrage at the original plan of 58 townhouses, with 15 falling under traditional Habitat for Humanity guidelines. The remaining 43 would have been sold on the open market by Apollo Developments, with Habitat holding a second mortgage worth 20 per cent, payable only after the first owner sells the unit.
Due to the amount of debate, Crouse suggested the city host two roundtable events on May 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. and May 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kinsmen Banquet Centre at 47 Riel Dr. Participants are encouraged to register by calling 780-459-1500.