Delay in housing project blamed on Covid

·1 min read

Two accessible housing projects in Fredericton have been delayed because of hold ups associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The buildings on Albert Street and Jaffrey Street were expected to be ready to house people this fall, people who might otherwise be living on the street.

But delays in construction of the project, which has multiple-organizations, including Smythe Street Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, the United Way and the City of Fredericton attached in some way, began to stack up in the spring.

"It was just losing two weeks here, losing three weeks here," said United Way project coordinator Jason LeJeune.

"By the time we were ready to start looking at tendering for some contracts around foundation and excavation, the building boom, it happened…. So it was really difficult to secure contractors for this season."

The future building on Jaffrey Street will have four units and be owned and run by Smythe Street Cathedral. The project on Albert Street will have three units and be owned and run by Christ Church Cathedral. Both will be for people who may not be ready for private-sector housing.

LeJeune said he expects construction on both buildings to begin in the spring. But, the true cost of a delay isn't lost on him.

"Every time there's a delay, or a kind of a hope, or a benchmark that we set for ourselves and that time lapses, at least for me, it comes back to people. And it is the reason we were pushing for the fall, that's immediately where your mind goes to is there's going to be people sleeping outside."