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Construction halts on Princeton’s flood relief housing for seniors

Compliance with B.C. building code and permit issues delay project
The homes were to be ready for occupancy at the beginning of 2023. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Construction of a temporary housing site in Princeton’s Industrial Park, for senior citizens displaced by the November 2021 flood, is at a standstill.

There are compliance code problems with units that have been located on Stan Thompson Way, as well as permitting issues.

The homes were to be ready for occupancy at the beginning of 2023, however it now expected residents will not be able to move in until spring, stated BC Housing which is charge of the progress.

In response to questions from the Spotlight, the housing authority provided answers via an email.

The housing site is comprised of 10 prefabricated buildings, each with two apartment-style units.

“The modular units…are currently being reviewed to ensure compliance with the B.C. building code. Municipal governments are responsible for certifying that the units are in compliance. While this process is underway, construction work must be paused,” said BC Housing.

Town hall has identified problems with the development.

Municipal building inspector Alan Palmgren told council members at a recent meeting that the units appear to be substandard at this time.

He stressed the fix is a B.C. Housing responsibility.

“I think there are going to be a lot of repairs that need to be done, just from the age of the units,” said Palmgren.

They were built in 2007 and were previously used as industrial accommodations in the Alberta oil fields.

B.C. Housing said “it has already used the same modular units for other temporary modular housing developments throughout the province.”

Palgrem said the company contracted to install the units, Black Diamond, also failed to secure the necessary permits for the construction of decking which has already been installed.

BC Housing is in the process of conducting a B.C. compliance code analysis that, along with paperwork, must be completed and acted on before anyone can move in.

Ten of the 20 units have already been allocated to flood victims, and Princeton Community and District Services Society, which will manage the development, is still accepting applications for more tenants.

BC Housing said: “We continue to work with the Town of Princeton and Princeton and District Community Services Society to identify more permanent housing solutions for seniors in the community.”

Related: Temporary housing for seniors displaced by flood to be built in Princeton’s industrial park

Related: Fire chief: Princeton BC Housing fire was human-caused

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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