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From Soroka’s perspective, the complex is ready to be built by this fall. They own the land and the funding is in place. But he said he has received little communication from the city on the hold up for the development permit so construction can start. While continuing to wait for this development permit, Soroka said his organization has seven other properties purchased and ready to go for a total of 120 housing units.
On Thursday, Iveson said finding a housing solution within the next 10 weeks before winter weather hits for those staying at the camp is an urgency and called on the senior levels of government to step up.
“We need decisive action from all orders of government and the City of Edmonton stands ready to spring into action for better and more durable response than the camp,” he said. “We’re on a 10-week plan to end homelessness. Before it gets too cold, we want to provide them with safe shelter options.”
Whatever that plan entails, Soroka said their housing units could certainly be a part of it if the development permit process goes through.
“I want in on Iveson’s 10-week plan. If you want to do it in 10 weeks, we’re here, we’re ready,” he said, noting the three buildings will be factory built and can be ready within that time frame.
In a response from the city’s planning department, spokeswoman Karen Burgess said after the site rezoning was approved by city council last November, the development permit applications were only received about one month ago and are still under review. The city has a goal of building 900 units of permanent, supportive housing by 2024.