Supportive housing project remain unbuilt, but province says construction will start soon

Supportive housing project remain unbuilt, but province says construction will start soon

Mayor Henry Braun had hoped buildings would be ready for occupants by winter

Nearly nine months after Abbotsford was promised two modular housing facilities for more than 80 homeless men and women, neither project has seen significant construction yet.

The province says that will soon change and construction is on schedule. But Mayor Henry Braun’s original optimistic projections that residents could be moved in by this winter won’t be fulfilled.

In late March, the province announced that 44 housing units would be built at a Riverside Road site just south of Highway 1. Another 39 units for homeless women would be constructed on Livingstone Avenue and operated by the Elizabeth Fry Society, which already manages 27 such homes for women and children on the same property.

At the time, Braun said that although the projects needed to go through the same review process required of any development, he anticipated that construction would begin over the summer, with an opening in the fall or winter.

But it wasn’t until August that the two projects and related agreements got the final go-ahead from city council.

Clearance of the Riverside Road site began last month, and a provincial spokesperson said BC Housing received a building permit this week from the City of Abbotsford. Foundation work is expected to start next week.

The province says a building permit is in the works for the Livingstone site, with the hope that a foundation can be laid in early January.

The province said the projects “will remain on schedule with occupancy anticipated by the end of March 2019.”

Braun was not available to comment on the timeline of the supportive-housing, but a city spokesperson confirmed the projects remain “on schedule.”

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Supportive housing project remain unbuilt, but province says construction will start soon