Helping the homeless

Bonnie Learning
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Province purchases apartment complex for supportive housing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Several people in need of supportive housing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will soon find themselves with a roof over their head.

Minister Kevin O'Brien was in Happy Valley-Gose Bay today to announce the purchase of an apartment complex to assist with housing issues in the community. 

That’s because the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recently purchased a six-unit apartment complex on Grand Street at a cost of $825,000.

Kevin O’Brien, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, made the announcement in Happy Valley-Goose Bay today.

“This is an exciting first step in our regional plan to assist individuals who require supportive living options,” said O’Brien.

“This past May, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador appointed a Supportive Housing Action Team to address housing needs. While we recognize there is still work to be done, this investment will enable us to place people in safe, permanent housing and ensure they also have the long-term community supports most appropriate for their needs.” 

The property consists of four one-bedroom units, as well as a two-bedroom and three-bedroom unit.

O’Brien said the recently purchased apartment complex was assessed by engineers who deemed it to be structurally sound and well built.

“We feel we got good value for our money, as the six units work out to approximately $130,000 per unit,” he said in a follow-up interview after the announcement.

“We feel that’s great value for the province.”

O’Brien pointed out while the initial need came out of a crisis situation this past spring after the closure of Newman’s Boarding House — which displaced dozens of residents — this recent purchase will serve anyone who finds themselves in need.

“It was phenomenal how the community came together with the Supportive Action Housing Team, and took on the challenges of those residents (displaced by the closure of the boarding house),” he said.

“All of those residents were taken care of and are doing well in their new environments.”

O’Brien noted while this recent purchase is a good first step at addressing homelessness in the area, the province is still looking at other options for future housing needs.

“We currently have a consultant looking at possible usage of the Paddon Home from both a housing and health care perspective, and will hopefully have that report by the fall.”

O’Brien said government will also be exploring options such as partnering with private and not-for-profit organizations to look at even more housing possibilities in the future.

Organizations: Boarding House

Geographic location: Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador Grand Street

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