THUNDER BAY — The site of a proposed housing project for Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay remains a vacant lot on Junot Avenue, and there is no date for the start of construction.
According to the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services Corporation, the issue is a lack of operational funding.
OAHS wants to build a facility to accommodate 58 young people who are struggling with addiction. It would also provide education and employment services.
After an objector's appeal of city council's zoning approval was dismissed in March 2020, the corporation said it had hoped to begin construction by May of that year, but that the COVID-19 pandemic might cause a delay.
In September 2020 a spokesperson said "all is well" and that OAHS was "progressing on development plans."
However on Monday the corporation cited the "lengthy and costly legal battle" over zoning, and said Thunder Bay had missed out on operational funding that was available at the start of the process.
OAHS has allocated that funding to services in other communities.
In a brief statement, the spokesperson said "We remain, with our partners, committed and determined to bring culturally-appropriate assistance to Indigenous youth who are experiencing homelessness in Thunder Bay."
The statement added "We are working on alternative options and remain hopeful."