Supportive housing condo underway, officially

Building will provide rooms for people recovering from mental illness, addictions

Work has been underway for a few months already, but Friday the VIPs gave their official blessing to the 45-unit Alouette Heights building on Brown Avenue and 222nd Street.

The green building will provide homes for people recovering from mental illness or drug or booze addiction and will be staffed all day, all week.

B.C. Housing kicked in $8 million for the project and will pay $335,000 yearly to keep it operating.

“Safe, supportive housing for the homeless will be a vital addition to Maple Ridge,” Liberal MLA Marc Dalton said at the opening.

“These apartments will offer safe, affordable housing where people are accepted, understood and connected to the supports they need to regain their independence and overcome their personal challenges.”

The building, which opens a year from now, will use geothermal energy to preheat the domestic water supply  and prevent having to use natural gas.

Shades will keep the summer sun from hitting the energy-efficient windows – further keeping the building cool in the summer.

Combined with walls insulated to a value of R-23, the new building won’t need air conditioning.

In Maple Ridge, the government will spend more than $5 million this year to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than

1,050 low-income individuals, seniors and families.

The Alouette Home Start Society will manage the facility.