Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson announced $15-million in funding to create a 40-unit transitional housing and shelter space for men and women in need in Mission.

Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson announced $15-million in funding to create a 40-unit transitional housing and shelter space for men and women in need in Mission.

$15-million in funding for new 40-unit transitional housing and shelter space in Mission

The facility will be for men and women in need. However no location has been decided.

Mission is going to create a new, $15-million, 40-unit transitional housing and shelter space for men and women in need, thanks to funding from the provincial government.

Simon Gibson, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission made the announcement Monday morning at Mission council chambers.

“When somebody has a place to live, then they can get their life back together,” Gibson told the invited crowd.

Gibson was joined by Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton at the official announcement.

Gibson said he was proud to make the announcement of the funding, but no details are yet  available of where the facility will be located.

He said the project is currently in the early planning stages.

“BC Housing is fully supportive of this initiative in Mission. The reason why we can’t provide a more specific representation of the property is because it will still likely have to go through a rezoning process and it would be inappropriate to assume a location, prior to going to a public hearing.”

Gibson said there is no need to create a “potential controversy” when no location has yet been chosen.

Mission Mayor Randy Hawes said several locations are being carefully considered.

He said details still “have to be worked out so it would be very premature for us to say there’s where were looking, but there are many consideration in mind, such as disruptions to businesses etc. We know that  locating some types of housing next to existing commercial business can be harmful to those businesses. So we are very cognizant of that. And we’re going to be very careful,” said Hawes.

He also said the project is something that has been worked on for a long time.

“We all know we are having problems here with homeless people, with people who are having difficulty getting into housing and once they are in that housing, they need other supports as well,” said Hawes.

An existing shelter at Haven in the Hollow, run by Mission Community Services Society, which currently provides 15 beds for men and a separate five-bed unit for women, could also be relocated to this new development.

According to a government press release, BC Housing will work with the District of Mission, community partners and local groups to find a suitable site in Mission and develop the necessary project plans.

BC Housing will ensure that the proper rezoning and public consultation occurs before construction starts.

The facility will offer appropriate programming to support the success of its residents.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2018, with completion projected for fall 2019.