Units for the new modular housing project on 4523 Olson Ave. have finally arrived after many months of delay.
Originally scheduled to open before winter, rain had paused groundwork development as the soil began to resemble swamp-like conditions. It was not until last week that foundation work at the site was completed.
The set up resembles a bridge configuration, which provides a platform for the units to sit on as they’re put into place with a crane. Currently, there appears to be screw jacks incorporated into the foundation, adjustable supports that could help level the ground if it settles over time.
The building is three-storeys high, made up of 36 modular units stacked on top of each other. Seven were placed earlier Wednesday, Feb. 6, to build out the ground floor of the facility and the rest of the units are expected to be in place by next week. The units arrived in Terrace last fall but were being stored locally until the land was dry enough for site development to continue.
The 52-unit housing facility will provide 24/7 support for those in the community that are homeless to transition them into stable, long-term housing as part of the province’s Rapid Response to Homelessness project. BC Housing awarded the project to Nomodic Modular Structures Inc.
Funded by a provincial allocation of $10.1 million, the homes are built on municipal land and managed by the Ksan Society to assist those facing chronic homelessness. Each self-contained bachelor units, each around 350 sq. ft. in size, will have a small kitchen and bathroom. Of those 52 bachelor apartments, three of them will be accessible for clients with mobility challenges.
Within the building, there will be room for a lounge area, a communal kitchen and dining room, laundry facilities, meeting rooms and flexible programming space, along with office space for management and support staff.
The project will require 16 to 18 hired supportive staff to work shifts around the clock through an operating agreement between BCH and the Ksan Society. They will be there to provide mental health and addictions support through agencies like Northern Health for residents.
Applicants will undergo an assessment with agencies including Northern Health, Terrace and District Community Services Society, or the Kermode Friendship Centre before receiving an approval to ensure their needs will be met. Amanda Bains, Ksan Society’s executive director said back in December the organization had already received 70 applications.
She says she hopes the new building will be complete by the spring if no other unexpected delays arise.
The project will receive a $1.5 million annual operating subsidy from the province, according to a 2017 memorandum of understanding signed with the city.