Prince George housing project moving forward

·2 min read

A development permit for construction of a long-awaited 50-unit supported housing complex at 855 First Ave. has been submitted.

Currently the home of NR Motors, the 1.7-hectare (4.3-acre) site is located in the light industrial area east of the Prince George’s retail and restaurant district.

If the permit is approved, construction is expected to begin in spring 2021 and would be the first phase of a project for which 50 units of rental homes for low-income people is also planned.

Each of the housing buildings is to include ground floor healthcare services, including a needle exchange and safe injection site, community outreach, mental health services and primary care for residents and the public.

The project cleared the rezoning process in June when it won unanimous support from city council.

"We are working with the city and community partners to make sure vulnerable people have access to safe and supportive homes," Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby said in a statement. "When people are housed, they can access things like health care and skills training to help rebuild their lives, and the benefit of that opportunity extends across the community."

BC Housing is to select an experienced non-profit service provider to manage the building with staff on site 24/7 to provide wraparound supports, including meal programs, life skills training and health and wellness support services.

In order to ensure the fastest possible delivery of these homes, the project would be built using modular construction, the province added. Each of the units would have their own washroom and kitchenette.

In the same statement, Mayor Lyn Hall said the building will "further enhance our collective efforts to ensure vulnerable residents with complex needs are able to access supported housing and critical health-care services.”

The city paid $1.5 million for the land for the project's first phase.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen