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BETHS saddened by delays

The Boundary Emergency and Transition Housing Society (BETHS) is extremely disappointed with the City of Grand Forks council’s delay in making a decision on the extension of the lease for the site of the Multi Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP) facility.

MAAP partners (Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC, Whispers of Hope Benevolence Association and BETHS) had requested an extension of the lease, which was required by project funders. Rather than dealing with the request to extend the lease, council has decided to seek funding to engage a consultant to look at transitional housing needs in the community.

As a result of council’s decision, funding for the development of the MAAP facility has been lost. BETHS is also disappointed with the process Council followed in making their decision.

There was no opportunity provided for input on whether or not a study into the need for transitional housing in the community is required. There is already sufficient evidence of the need for transitional housing, and BETHS board and staff would have welcomed the opportunity to explain the need to Council. BETHS board of directors believes that it is now time for action, not further study.

We are also deeply saddened by Habitat for Humanity SouthEast BC’s decision to withdraw from MAAP following city council’s decision, although we understand and respect Habitat’s decision. They have been a terrific partner, and we thank them for their vision and action in bringing a collaborative approach to addressing housing and other social needs in the community.

We greatly value our relationship, and we look forward to working with Habitat in the future. BETHS will continue to operate an Extreme Weather Shelter, and we will continue to pursue our goal of establishing safe and decent housing units for those individuals who wish to transition from homelessness.

While we are disappointed with city council’s recent decision, we would like to work with council to rebuild the partnership that is necessary to meet the housing needs of the community.