Habitat hopes to build ReStore this year

The MAAP project, which is at 7212 Riverside Drive, currently houses Whispers of Hope thrift shop and soup kitchen, and the Boundary Emergency Shelter (BETHS).

The new ReStore building could be launched before the end of summer if a couple of conditions are met.

At a special council meeting on March 4, Councillor Neil Krog for council to proceed with the request from Multi-Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP) to potentially extend the lease from five-years to 10 and further that the request is contingent on funding and public notice.

The MAAP project, which is at 7212 Riverside Drive, currently houses Whispers of Hope thrift shop and soup kitchen, and the Boundary Emergency Shelter (BETHS).

Also partnering in the MAAP project is Habitat for Humanity Southeast B.C., although they are currently out on Sagamore Road as the ReStore building.

Councillor Chris Hammett said the request is contingent on Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC receiving funding as well as the request going to public notice.

According to a proposal from Jim Harrison, vice-chair for BETHS, Habitat would receive a $100,000 grant from B.C. Housing for the construction of three transitional housing units conditional to receiving the lease extension.

Habitat plans to build a ReStore building on the MAAP lot in the near future. Currently, ReStore is open out on Sagamore Road in a rented building. Above the ReStore would be the transitional housing units, operated by BETHS, as well as office space.

Council originally heard the original proposal to extend the lease on Feb. 10 at their regular council meeting and at that time deferred the motion 5-2.

“We’ll have to see how they proceed at this point and what the public input comes back as,” said Hammett. “They can go ahead and proceed with their grant information. After we’ve done two weeks of public notice, our due diligence, if the public is fine with proceeding with building on that site then the ReStore building will join them (at the MAAP site).”

Harrison said there are still some hoops to go through before getting the lease extension.

“Under the Community Charter they do have to go through a public notice process in regard to that,” he said. “So they’ll have to go through that before the lease can be extended or any new lease is signed. That’s part of the legal process they have to go through.”

Harrison added that he and the MAAP committee are very pleased with the results of the meeting and the ability of council to listen to the people.

“It was an extremely good meeting,” he said. “The council members availed themselves of the people from all three agencies to answer questions and bring themselves up to speed of what the project is about and the history behind it, and how things have developed.”

Harrison said that once council was armed with the proper information, councillors were able to make an informed decision.

Harrison said once all conditions are met, Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC plans to start working on building the new ReStore building at the MAAP location on Riverside.

“We have to wait for the city to clear it, through,” he said. “Everything is dependent on that. We are hoping we can start within a month or at least two, at least with getting building permits. If all goes well, we could see building getting started before the summer.”