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BC Housing working on seniors project in Trail

BC Housing has not announced where they plan to relocate the homeless shelter in downtown Trail to but has revealed plans for an eight-unit seniors rental project.

In an update to the new city council this week, the agency’s Tyler Baker said efforts to move the shelter continue, but he did not indicate where it would go.

Previously city manager Colin McClure said some legalities needed to be worked through  before the location could be revealed, but he hoped that would happen this month or next.

The previous council extended the operating permit of the current shelter until the end of September 2023 with the proviso that BC Housing find a new location for it.

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“We are diligently working on satisfying the conditions of that extension while we look for an alternate site to relocate those services outside of downtown,” Baker said.

At the same time, he added, they continue to work on a supportive housing project, but finding a suitable site remains the chief hurdle.

“We’ve looked at a number of sites [but] for one reason or another they haven’t panned out,” he said, adding they meet regularly with city staff to brainstorm and look at real estate listings.

“We’re playing this game in a number of places but we are trying to be responsive to the needs of the community. Some sites just aren’t suitable and others might not be available or in our price range.”

However, he said they are confident they will be able to find something eventually.

He also revealed they are planning a seniors housing project under the community housing fund, which delivers low-income rental units. They are working with the Trail and District Senior Citizens Villa Society, which would ultimately be the owner. However, it wasn’t clear if a site has been identified for that project.

Responding to a question from mayor Colleen Jones, Baker said he didn’t expect the provincial government’s plan to create a standalone housing ministry would affect BC Housing’s structure, but he feels it will giving housing a higher profile in cabinet and generally.

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