$2.4 million announced for supportive housing on Gladys Avenue

The provincial government will provide capital costs as well as annual operating costs for the Abbotsford project

Abbotsford Community Services executive director Rod Santiago



The provincial government announced Monday that it will provide $2.4 million in capital costs, as well as annual operating costs, for a 20-unit supportive-housing development on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford.

The project will be operated by the Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) Society and will be for men who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Construction is expected to begin next fall.

ACS executive director Rod Santiago was overcome with emotion as he spoke about the importance of the project at Monday’s announcement at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

“Today we’re sending out the message to our friends on the street that you don’t have to have your life figured out before someone decides you deserve to have a roof over your head,” he said. “You have a right to have housing first and now you can exercise that right in Abbotsford.”

The property is located on the west side of Gladys Avenue, just north of George Ferguson Way.

It received rezoning approval from city council in November to allow for low-barrier supportive housing, which permits residents to enter without being drug- and alcohol-free, and provides supportive services.

The project moved forward despite concern from area residents who spoke at a public hearing about the potential for property crime, the impact on property values, and the proximity of the site to two schools and a residential area.

The mood of Monday’s announcement, though, was full of hope.

“It’s a great morning,” Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

The project, he said, “will provide those who come through their doors with not just housing but the 24/7 stability and support they need to rebuild their lives.”

B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman, who made the announcement, spoke of the chance to renew the province’s commitment to providing funding for supportive housing in Abbotsford, despite some hard feelings stemming from a project that was defeated on a tie council vote in February.

The province had previously pledged  support for a low-barrier supportive housing project for men at 2408 Montvue Ave. across from ACS headquarters.

But some neighbouring residents opposed the site, and the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) objected to its location in the C7 zone, a special downtown city area that prohibits supportive-recovery use.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to stay focused on what’s important and to do that, you’ve got to put away your own frustrations,” Coleman said.

He said ACS’s willingness to again take a leading role was the key factor that allowed it to move forward again.

“Their proven combination of experience and programming skills and health staff are going to be a huge benefit to those folks who are stepping up to try and change their lives.”

Just Posted

Stranger climbs onto second-storey patio and lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old child

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds advance to BCMML final

T-birds eliminate Okanagan Rockets, take on Cariboo Cougars in final this weekend

South Surrey wrestler wins pair of national titles

Ana Godinez Gonzalez tops field at junior, senior championships in Saskatoon

Abbotsford Hospice Society hosts annual Butterfly Ball

Event takes place Saturday, April 6 at Quality Hotel and Conference Centre

Electronic devices destroyed for free at Abbotsford event

Police partner with Electronic Recycling Association to dispose of unwanted items

VIDEO: Creativ Festival comes to Abbotsford

Event highlighting crafts takes over Tradex on Friday and Saturday

Pedestrian killed, two injured in three-vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Road closures in effect following collision

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read