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City of Brandon selling property for $1

Brandon, a city committed to addressing its affordable housing and homelessness challenges, is taking a bold step towards positive change. City council members recently greenlit a groundbreaking proposal to sell a property at 215 12th Street North for a mere $1. The selected buyer could be a non-profit, government agency, or partnering organization. The primary objective is to transform the site into an affordable housing development, specifically tailored to cater to residents facing homelessness or precarious housing situations.

Ryan Nickel, the director of Brandon's planning and buildings department, emphasized the city's commitment to leveraging its limited land holdings for the greater good. He highlighted the city's housing needs assessment, which underscored a shortage of accommodations for Brandon's most vulnerable population. Over recent years, the city has witnessed a surge in homelessness rates, and this strategic development aims to diversify housing options for those in critical need.

"We have a small amount of land holdings, but we want to use those land holdings to create opportunities and create housing for those most in need within our community," Nickel affirmed.

The proposed development is conceptualized to offer a total of 55 units, ranging between 150 and 250 square feet. However, potential buyers are not bound to replicate the city's plan precisely. Nickel stressed the significance of the project, envisioning it as a haven for healing and support for individuals navigating their paths forward.

"We really want this to be a place of healing for people staying there and a place that can help them on their process to move forward, whatever that looks like for them," Nickel explained.

The innovative aspect of this initiative lies in the flexibility provided to interested organizations. They can apply independently or collaboratively to build and operate the housing development. Nickel emphasized the city's openness to creative approaches, considering this venture as uncharted territory for Brandon.

"This is a little bit of a creative process and something new for the City of Brandon. What we’re really looking for is to have groups come forward who are willing to look at creating partnerships," Nickel remarked.

The property is set to be listed on the city's website by the week's end, opening the door for potential buyers to step forward and contribute to this noble cause. The city's proactive approach showcases a commitment to community welfare, offering a beacon of hope for those experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

As Brandon takes this noteworthy step, it sets an example for other communities grappling with similar challenges. By fostering partnerships and encouraging creative solutions, the City of Brandon is not just selling a property for $1; it is investing in the well-being and future stability of its residents.



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