Shawn Bayes of the Elizabeth Fry Society (left), Mayor Henry Braun, housing minister Selina Robinson and Lookout Housing and Health Society Shayne Williams pose for pictures besides a rendering of a new supportive housing project to be built in Abbotsford this year. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News

Housing projects for homeless get go-ahead from Abbotsford council

More than 80 units of housing for homeless men and women are set for construction

More than 80 units of housing for homeless men and women are now slated for construction after council signed off on a final agreement with the operating groups and the necessary permits to see the construction of two projects.

Council unanimously gave the thumbs-up to the two projects, which were announced five months ago.

The buildings are slated for Livingstone Avenue, on land already used by the Elizabeth Fry Society, and Riverside Road, adjacent to an existing homeless shelter. Council looks set to give three readings at Monday’s afternoon meeting to agreements with the two societies operating the facilities.

The Livingstone facility would be called “Legacy Manor” and include 39 units for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and “require a supportive living environment.” The Riverside project will include 44 homes.

Both are supposed to be temporary in nature, and subject to a temporary use permit. They aim to provide “stable supportive housing in order to transition individuals into stable, long-term housing,” according to a staff report.

The two facilities will also include further support for residents from the Elizabeth Fry and Lookout Housing and Health societies, Fraser Health and other organizations.

The projects were announced five months ago, on March 27. At the time, Mayor Henry Braun expressed hope that construction would start over the summer and that the buildings would be operational by the winter.

The province is kicking in about $12 million of funding for the two buildings.

It was noted at Monday’s meeting that operators of both facilities will convene “Good Neighbour Committees” that will work to minimize any issues with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Figures obtained by The News this spring showed that Hearthstone Place, a supportive housing facility on Gladys Avenue for homeless men and women, had not generated a surge of complaints since opening in 2017.

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