Five Edmonton supportive housing developments now pegged for spring opening, highlight city’s $1-billion 2021 construction season

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Five supportive housing sites in Edmonton won’t be ready this winter as initially targeted for residents experiencing homelessness.

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The city’s first five permanent, supportive housing developments totalling 210 units are now expected to be finished early next year and open in the spring.

During a year-end construction update Tuesday, infrastructure services deputy city manager Adam Laughlin said the end of 2021 completion timeline was an aggressive target in line with the federal grant program. But labour and supply chain disruptions affecting the construction industry had an impact on the projects, leading to longer wait times for materials.

When open in the new year, the five developments will provide a long-term home and wraparound services for more than 200 Edmontonians who are experiencing homelessness and need support to maintain their housing. On-site supports will include 24-7 crisis services, mental health supports and financial management assistance. The sites are located in Inglewood, Terrace Heights, Westmount, Wellington and King Edward Park.

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“The pandemic has illustrated the critical role that housing plays in ensuring the health and safety of individuals, their community and Edmonton as a whole,” Laughlin told reporters. “Right now, there are more than 2,800 people with no permanent home, about 1,200 sleeping in shelters or outside each night. It is possible to end homelessness through adequate housing and support.”

Last week, the city issued a notice that four homeless Edmontonians died in fires within the last two months and work is being done to develop strategies to improve fire safety. The city’s longer-term goal is to develop 900 supportive housing units across all areas of the city by 2024.

These supportive housing projects were part of a larger $1 billion construction season implemented by the city in 2021, the largest in many years, Laughlin said. There were a total of 275 projects under construction, with 92 per cent on budget and close to 80 per cent on schedule. Construction projects led to more than 13,000 jobs in the city through 300 companies that are locally-owned or based in Edmonton.

More to come.

duscook@postmedia.com

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