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Princeton hopes to establish ‘camp’ for flood victims in industrial park

Self-contained temporary housing units have been requested from the province
Approximately 300 Princeton homes remain under evacuation order. Spotlight file photo

Housing for flood victims, and water for everyone remain two priorities for Princeton residents and town hall.

In an interview Jan. 2, Mayor Spencer Coyne said he has contacted government many times, urging an answer on a temporary housing solution.

“It’s completely in the hands of the province.”

The plan is to import approximately 100 self-contained units, that would be placed in Princeton’s industrial park.

“People will have a house to live in, living space, bathroom, shower etcetera,” said Coyne. The temporary development will resemble “a camp, it will look like what a camp looks like.”

The Spotlight contacted Boundary Similkameen MLA Roly Russell on Jan. 3. He said he is looking into the approvals and timeline for when the housing might be available.

Coyne also stated that it’s difficult to know how many people will require shelter.

Before Christmas the roles being performed by local Emergency Social Services (ESS) — distributing vouchers, locating accommodations for displaced residents — were transferred at the province’s request to the Red Cross.

According to Coyne, local ESS was in the process of doing needs assessments with its clients, to determine how large the camp needs to be. However that ended when Red Cross took over, he said.

“There are approximately 300 homes that are still evacuated and we don’t even know where everybody is right now, because the Red Cross moved some people out of here.”

Coyne said the town has requested help from the province, extra staff to complete needs assessments for flood victims.

On Dec. 23 water orders changed in Princeton. The boil water advisory, which affected homes on the benches was lifted. All other properties, previously under a do not consume order, were downgraded to a boil water notice.

The orders were in place since the Nov. 14 flood, and were rescinded and changed by the authority of Interior Health, which controls water testing.

Testing continues for homes under boil water notice. “The water — it’s completely in the hands of Interior Health from here on out.”

Related: Princeton residents could face a 70% tax increase in 2022, due to flood bills

Related: Princeton flood victims eligible for $1,000 from community foundation relief fund

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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