COURTENAY, B.C- A provincial housing project has gotten its first green light from Courtenay’s municipal government.

During the meeting of council on Monday evening, council passed a motion to rezone city-owned land at 988 – 8th St to allow for the project.

The location is an unused parcel of land, adjacent to the municipal works yard in west-end Courtenay.

Announced last Friday, the project is meant to bring in 46 units of housing for individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, with the intention of transitioning them to stable living by providing long-term housing with individual supports.

The new homes will all have a private bathroom and kitchen.

Residents will share laundry facilities, and have access to meal programs, life-skills training, employment training, and other 24/7 services.

Pending municipal approvals, construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2018, in order to have the homes ready for the winter.

The John Howard Society of North Island has been selected to operate the housing and provide support services for residents.

“It’s (the process) amazingly fast,” said mayor Larry Jangula.

“If you compare it to Braidwood (another project), which has been on the books for years, and we’re just turning dirt on that now, it’s incredibly fast.”

Jangula said the speed was partly due to the modular nature of the housing, and thanked the province for the model. He also indicated that a final look for the construction is not yet known, despite a draft image attached to the council agenda.

The same documents indicate the project is still in the design phase.

With the first approval by council, a public hearing will be held at City Hall for residents to voice their opinion on the project on May 22nd.