A recovery house in central Abbotsford got the thumbs-up from council Monday.

A recovery house in central Abbotsford got the thumbs-up from council Monday.

Abbotsford recovery house approved, despite petition

Council hails ‘first-class’ operator; principal of school says other house has generated no concerns

Although hundreds of Abbotsford residents are afraid of a new recovery house moving into their neighbourhood, the principal of a local school says a different long-standing home immediately next door hasn’t been any trouble.

On Monday, city council approved a housing agreement by L.I.F.E. Recovery that will allow the organization to open a new 10-bed facility on Westerly Street, just south of Peardonville Road.

The home will be the 11th approved supportive recovery home in Abbotsford.

Of the 10 current homes, three are operated by L.I.F.E., a Christian organization focused on helping women escape drug and alcohol addiction.

The approval came despite a petition with the names of 200 local residents.

Neighbours expressed worries that the home would increase crime and decrease property values. The petition pointed to the proximity to Grant Park and Ten-Broeck Elementary.

The school is about 600 metres away from the home, and the petition said it was problematic that students would walk by the home.

RELATED: Housing for poor people and addicts doesn’t hurt nearby property values, new B.C. study says

But that school, L.I.F.E. noted, is already next door to a long-standing L.I.F.E. first-stage supportive housing facility that borders its field.

The principal of the school wrote a letter to council, noting that Ten-Broeck hasn’t had any problems during her time as principal.

The house has its own playground for the occupants’ own children, and residents don’t use the yard during the school’s recess and lunch time.

L.I.F.E. also noted that the Westerly house will be a “second-stage” home, with residents more-screened than those at a first-stage facility.

Council unanimously approved the application, with several saying L.I.F.E. is a model organization with an excellent track record.

“If we could have all of our applicants be this thorough and run their organizations as well, we’d be in a lot better place,” Coun. Ross Siemens said.

“They are a first-class organization,” Mayor Henry Braun added.

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