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Still no plans for interim housing: city

Plans for 100 units of interim housing set to be ready for the winter are still uncertain, city officials confirmed today.

“We were hoping to announce something earlier, but there were still some more sort of negotiations and logistics to be worked out, but we are quite hopeful that we will be able to announce this in the fall,” said Kevin Quinlan, executive assistant to the Mayor, in an interview with The Tyee.

The funding for the units was announced at the end of June in conjunction with the closure of one of the city’s HEAT shelters. The announcement occurred a week after the city put a call out to the provincial government to follow up on 550 units of interim housing proposed that would hold the homeless population over until permanent housing could be built in two to three years.

When the city and the provincial government announced the funding in June for the interim units, they were set to be ready to go by winter, when the need for housing and shelter is the greatest.

Quinlan said this is still the hope, but that no decision has been reached yet as to how the money will be spent, and therefore no projects have been started.

Some options include renovations to existing government owned buildings and SRO hotels that have been purchased by the province.

“Obviously we have ideas about where they want to put that money… we haven’t locked down all the details but we are hoping to have something announced in the fall,” said Quinlan.

He did confirm, however, that the money would not be going toward temporary units such as proposed modular housing.

“Obviously the city’s preference is for housing that could be used as permanent housing, and that’s the direction we’re trying to go in there,” he said.

Christine McLaren reports for The Tyee.

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