A Calgary alderman hopes a liaison committee will smooth the waters of discontent over an affordable housing project for the working poor in the northeast.
When the project in Greenview was first announced by the Drop-In Centre last spring, emotions boiled over at public meetings with many residents saying they were surprised by the plans and upset about a lack of information.
The new committee is made up of members of the Drop-In Centre, people who live near the former Quality Inn site and area Ald. Gael Macleod.
Macleod says they just want some answers to help residents understand the plans.
"When we talk about affordable housing or we talk about an SRO, meaning single room occupancy, what exactly does that mean?" she said.
"Who are the clients that we're talking about so that we have a mutual understanding going forward as to what will happen there. So I see this as a very positive step forward."
Marvin Quashnick, with the Thorncliffe-Greenview Community Association, is also on a new liason committee to help mend fences with the community.
"It's largely a trust building exercise between the developer, or in this case the Drop-In Centre, and the residents," he said.
Quashnick says the group is working on a good neighbour agreement after much public backlash over the housing project.
"That anger was largely directed at the unknown, so as we work through some of these things to see what it's going to look like more clearly I believe the anger has subsided and will continue to do so," he said.
The liason group has yet to meet because they haven't seen what the development permit entails, but Macleod says they want to make sure everyone knows exactly what is planned.
"I don't think everybody's going to be happy," she said. "These are touchy situations, but I think that we have a great group of people to work with and I'm looking forward to participating in it."
Macleod says she's not concerned the Drop-In is doing a bit of painting and work on some of the rooms, and she says any real development on the building is likely months away.