March 22, 2016 8:13 pm
Updated: March 22, 2016 8:40 pm

Calgary Drop-In Centre continues fight to create affordable housing unit

WATCH ABOVE: The Drop-In Centre has invested close to 4 million dollars in hopes of converting an old hotel into a 79 unit affordable housing complex. But it’s been met with stiff opposition. As Jill Croteau reports – the final chapter in the saga is coming to a close as the centre makes on last ditch pitch to save Centre 4800.

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It’s a project that has been embroiled in controversy for close to four years. The Drop-In Centre (The DI) has invested close to $4 million in hopes of converting an old hotel into a 79-unit affordable housing complex.

The hotel, on the corner of Edmonton Trail and McKnight Boulevard, opened in 1966 as the Airliner Motor Hotel. It later became a Quality Inn.

Four years ago, it came under the ownership of The DI. Since then, the project, dubbed “Centre 4800” has been hampered by controversy with strong opposition from some community residents.

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“Initially response was visceral, but as time evolved [affordable housing has] become an issue that other community associations and residents have been well-educated about,” Marvin Quashnick from the Thorncliffe-Greenview Community Association said.

In an effort to counter the opposition, the DI launched an education campaign to save Centre 4800.

The Calgary Planning Commission rejected the proposal, in part, for its failure to consult with residents. Now, the DI is making one last pitch to the Development Appeal Board to overturn the decision and allow it to move forward.

“We know that people we have in our buildings are carefully screened. We go through tremendous efforts – more than any landlord that houses individuals,” Debbie Newman, executive director of the DI said.

A decision isn’t expected for weeks.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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