Wet weather is thought to be the cause of a delay for the supportive housing project in Terrace.
Originally scheduled to open before winter, rain has paused groundwork development for the 52-units of housing on 4523 Olson Avenue.
“Unfortunately due to the weather-related delays, the project may not be ready until the end of winter or early spring 2019,” says BC Housing spokesperson Laura Mathews.
Site preparation began with topsoil stripping in September, but as excavators moved in to prepare to lay the foundation in November, rainfall mixed with the type of soil on site “basically turned it into soup,” Mathews says.
“It really made excavation ineffective for that time, so we actually had to put a halt on that process for a bit.”
Mathews says the modular units have arrived in Terrace and are being stored locally until the land is dry enough for site development to continue.
Funded by a provincial allocation of $10.1 million, the homes are built on municipal land and managed by the Ksan Society to help those facing chronic homelessness. The three-storey building will have 24/7 support for residents, including meal programs, laundry, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness services.
The 52 units are in high demand, says Amanda Bains, Ksan Society’s executive director. So far, the organization has received 70 applications for the project.
While the organization plans to continue operating the two shelters and programs they have available over the winter months, resources are stretched. Both the extreme weather shelter on Lakelse Ave. and the emergency shelter on Hall St. are both running over capacity.
“There’s definitely an over-demand,” Bains says. “We’re just keeping [the shelters] going in the meantime, hoping that sooner or later the supportive housing will be up and running.”
Despite the delay, Bains says both BC Housing and the modular contractor are pushing to get the project completed as soon as possible.
A tentative occupancy date has been set for Feb. 1.