Temporary housing for recently incarcerated Newfoundland women caught in zoning snag

·1 min read

MOUNT PEARL, N.L. — The future is uncertain for newly established housing for formerly incarcerated women in Newfoundland while a property owner awaits a ruling in provincial Supreme Court.

Steve Saunders says he bought a hotel in January and signed a contract with the local Elizabeth Fry Society allowing the group to use the rooms for women who are recently released from incarceration.

He said in an interview the hotel in Mount Pearl, N.L., which is next to St. John's, is zoned for commercial use and the women using the facility are there for short stays until they find a place to live.

Saunders says he received a cease-and-desist order on April 21 and filed for an injunction with the provincial Supreme Court to prevent evictions until at least June 14, when the case is set to be heard.

Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker says the building was zoned as a hotel, but he says his council feels it's now operating as a transition house and its zoning should be updated accordingly.

Aker said in an interview any discussions about rezoning are on hold until the case makes its way through the court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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