On March 26, after heavy pushback from the public, Fredericton City Council passed a motion to provide $900 000 to the John Howard Society for the City Motel Housing Project.
On January 20 Fredericton’s Planning Advisory Committee approved the City Motel Housing Project, proposed by the John Howard Society, which would see the space converted into affordable housing units, peer-supported units, offices, and an emergency shelter for the homeless community.
The Society applied for this funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative and were left scrambling for funding when the City of Fredericton decided not to provide $900 000 worth of funding.
Bruce Fitch, Social Development Minister, recognized the need for this project to go ahead and encouraged funding partners to come forward to help the cause.
“If we have another funding partner or another way to finance, or if there’s other ways we can salvage the project, I think it addresses a number of needs in the complex issue of homelessness in the city of Fredericton,” Fitch said on March 23.
David Coon, Fredericton South MLA, called upon the government on the legislature floor on March 23, imploring them to provide the necessary funding for this “life altering project.”
“I’m asking that the premier ensure that $900 000 is found somewhere in the province’s $10.6 billion budget,” said Coon.
Funding needed to be secured by March 31 to prevent existing funding partners from walking away from the project.
On March 26, at an emergency meeting, Fredericton City Council passed a motion to extend the necessary $900 000 to the project. This came after the city received heavy outrage from locals regarding their initial decision to not fund the project.
According to city councillors, the new motion will better protect the public and place hefty responsibilities on the John Howard Society.