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City of Brandon selling property for $1

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The City of Brandon is selling a property for $1 in order to help with the city’s affordable housing and homelessness needs.

Last week, Brandon city council approved a motion to sell 215 12th Street North for just $1 to a non-profit, government agency or partnering agency. The goal is to turn this site into an affordable housing development for residents experiencing homelessness or precarious housing situations.

“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,” said Ryan Nickel, director of Brandon’s planning and buildings department.

Nickel noted that the city conducted a housing needs assessment and determined that there is a shortage of accommodations for Brandon’s most vulnerable population.

He added that over the last few years, the rate of homelessness in Brandon has increased, and that this development will provide more housing options for those who need it most.

“The more options we can provide as a community for folks in need of housing options, the better we’re going to be,” he said.

“At a base level, we need to provide options for those who are directly experiencing homelessness or at risk. So that’s the intent of this development.”

The City of Brandon has created a high-level concept for the site, which includes a total of 55 units between 150 and 250 square feet. However, whoever buys the property does not have to build an identical development to the city’s plan.

“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 said.

Nickel said interested organizations can apply individually or in collaboration with one another to build and operate the housing development.

“This is a little bit of a creative process and something new for the City of Brandon,” he said.

“What we’re really looking for is to have groups come forward who are willing to look at creating partnerships.”

The property will be listed on the city’s website by the end of the week.

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