Final approval given to allow housing for homeless on Gladys Avenue

Rezoning and OCP amendment were adopted by Abbotsford council at Monday's meeting

Rezoning was adopted by council for a site on Gladys Avenue to allow for supportive housing.

Rezoning was adopted by council for a site on Gladys Avenue to allow for supportive housing.

City council gave final approval for the rezoning and an official community plan (OCP) amendment that will allow for supportive housing on Gladys Avenue.

The city-owned site was rezoned for low-barrier supportive housing – which allows residents to enter without being drug- and alcohol-free, and provides support services – with the hope of securing provincial funding for a project to house homeless men, after a previous proposal at a location on Montvue Avenue was defeated by council on a tie vote in February 2014.

In December, the province announced that $2.4 million in capital costs as well as annual operating costs would be provided for a 20-unit project to be built on the Gladys Avenue site, which is just north of George Ferguson Way.

Abbotsford Community Services (ACS), which was originally set to operate the original location, will be the operator of the Gladys Avenue location.

Due to the greater distance from ACS, the new facility will require more funding from BC Housing for additional staff. BC Housing representatives are still working out the annual operating budget.

The property on Gladys is city-owned and will be leased to BC Housing for $1 per year over a 60-year agreement. Construction is expected to start in the fall.