British Columbia

83 units of temporary modular housing coming to Abbotsford

Almost half the units will be women-only. The others are aimed to help homeless people transition from shelters to more permanent housing.

Total cost of 2 buildings will be $12 million, province says

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson (right) joined advocates and local government leaders to announce temporary modular housing for Abbotsford on Tuesday. (Christer Waara/CBC)

For years, homeless advocates in Abbotsford have said there aren't enough resources to get people off the street and into homes.

They're hoping an announcement Tuesday will make the situation a little better.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun says 83 new units of temporary modular housing are coming to the city.

"I expect that construction will get underway fairly quickly. We should start to see something underway here in the summer," he said.

39 of the units will be just for women at a site at 31399 Livingstone Ave. The Elizabeth Fry Society owns the land and will operate the shelter, according to the ministry of housing.

The remaining 44 units will open near an existing shelter at 1640 Riverside Dr. Lookout Housing and Health Society will run the housing and the shelter. The province says the goal is for people currently using the shelter to transition into the modular housing.

Both facilities will provide meals, round-the-clock support and skills training.

According to the ministry, the total cost of both projects will be $12 million.

Jesse Wegenast of the 5 and 2 Ministries, a faith group that helps the homeless, says what's needed now is more rental housing.

"You can't outreach your way out of a housing crisis. You need housing to work your way out of a housing crisis," he said.

The hope is the new housing will be ready later this year for people to move in.

The province says before the housing is opened, the public will have a chance to provide feedback.

With files from Jesse Johnston