Issues discovered during renovations have meant a delay in opening Langley’s first supportive housing project for homeless citizens.
Contractors have been working for months to transform the former Quality Inn into Creek Stone Place, a 49-unit housing building with 24-hour on site support staff.
The original plan had been to start move ins for new residents as early as this week, said Janet Burden, executive director of the Stepping Stone Community Services Society.
Unfortunately, when renovating an existing building, minor issues have come up that have pushed the completion date off into the future.
“They’ve run into some things they weren’t anticipating,” Burden said.
Burden said the project is on track to finish relatively soon, but she does not want to give a definite date.
None of the issues discovered were disastrous, but each added a bit to the time needed to finish the project.
Once renovations are finished, the project needs a sign off from Langley Township on the structural changes to the building. Then staff can set up for their work, and the two-week process of moving in the residents can begin.
Stepping Stone will be the local manager for the project, in partnership with BC Housing, which is providing the bulk of the funding.
Supportive housing is for people transitioning off the streets and back into a home, some for the first time in years.
The project was controversial with some neighbours in the Langley Meadows neighbourhood to the west and the Willoughby Slope to the north. Locals worried about drug use and crime coming into the area.
The residents of Creek Stone won’t be required to be clean and sober before moving in, but the idea is to get them the stability of housing while offering them access to support and services, including help getting clean, dealing with mental health issues, and eventually for many, possibly moving to work, education, and conventional independent housing.
The plan comes from a “housing first” model that has become the standard in many countries around the world.
There are thought to be more than 200 homeless people in Langley City and Township, a number that has increased sharply over the past 20 years.