PEI

Affordable housing floated as plan for COVID checkpoint buildings

As the P.E.I. government dismantles COVID-19 testing sites at Confederation Bridge and the exit lanes from the Wood Islands ferry, Transportation Minister James Aylward is suggesting affordable housing as a new use for the buildings.

‘It would be a great use of those structures’

The buildings at Confederation Bridge now were put up in November 2021. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

As the P.E.I. government dismantles COVID-19 testing sites at Confederation Bridge and the exit lanes from the Wood Islands ferry, Transportation Minister James Aylward is suggesting affordable housing as a new use for the buildings.

The checkpoint at the bridge was closed April 28, and with ferry sailings resuming at Wood Islands on May 1, the checkpoint there never reopened after Northumberland Ferries shut down for the winter in December.

The first step for the buildings will be checking with other government departments to see if anyone has a use for them. If not, a tender will be issued for their sale, said Aylward. He would like to see options explored for using the buildings for affordable housing.

"In my view it would be a great use of those structures. We would have to determine the land that they could be set up on," said Aylward.

"This is just another component that we could incorporate into our affordable housing plans."

The checkpoints were first put in place in March 2020. The buildings on site now were put up in November 2021.

The buildings at the bridge include three mobile homes, with a total of nearly 2,200 square feet, and two pole barns, totalling 4,800 hundred square feet. Between the two sites there are 34 baby barns.

The total cost to government for all buildings was about $750,000 

Once the buildings are removed, the sites will be restored to their previous condition.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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