Plan for Bankview apartment to house homeless worries neighbours

Some residents of Bankview are worried about a plan by the Calgary Homeless Foundation to build an apartment building for formerly homeless people in the area.

Calgary Homeless Foundation applying to build 30-unit facility for people leaving homelessness

The Calgary Homeless Foundation is seeking city approval to build a 30-unit apartment building at 17th Street and 18th Avenue S.W. to help people transition out of homelessness. (CBC)

Some residents of Bankview are worried about a plan by the Calgary Homeless Foundation to build an apartment building for formerly homeless people in the area.

Darcy Marler, who owns an apartment building next to the site of a proposed Calgary Homeless Foundation housing project, says it will lower the value of his property. (CBC)

About 30 people showed up for an information session on Monday evening, many of them voicing concerns about the proposal for 17th Street and 18th Avenue S.W.

Darcy Marler, who owns the apartment building next door to the site, said the value of his property will go down if the project gets city approval.

“Basically it’s a boarding house,” he said.

“I know exactly the type of person that's going to be in this building.  Homeless, usually, almost all the time, they've got substance abuse problems of some kind, or psychological problems."

The Calgary Homeless Foundation plans to build eight similar buildings around the city as part of its 10-year plan to end homelessness in the city.

The facility in Bankview would have 30 units and a shared kitchen.

Calgary Homeless Foundation spokeswoman Louise Gallagher says such buildings can have a positive impact on the neighborhood.

“This is an apartment building. Just like other apartment buildings. It's just the people living in it will have come from homelessness,” she said.

But area resident Bob Merchant said there are already six other social housing facilities in Bankview.

"I think our concern is ... that Bankview is becoming a dumping ground for these types of facilities,” he said.

"Enough is enough. Other communities should be doing their share to support this type of activity."

If it gets a development permit from the city, the foundation hopes to have residents in the building by early 2016. 

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