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Majority of delayed Dartmouth modular units to be finished Tuesday: HRM

Click to play video: 'Delays continue for some HRM modular units as winter storm approaches' Delays continue for some HRM modular units as winter storm approaches
WATCH: The Halifax Regional Municipality is behind schedule on the completion of modular units for people who are unhoused. HRM moved its own deadline from Dec. 20 to the first week of January for some of the units in Dartmouth. As of now, no one has been able to move into a unit – and with stormy weather on the horizon advocates say frustration is growing. Callum Smith reports – Jan 5, 2022

Halifax Regional Municipality now says it expects to finish installing the majority of modular units for unhoused people in Dartmouth by Tuesday.

In an update sent Monday evening, the municipality said access will be available for 24 of the total 26 spaces.

Read more: Nova Scotia’s housing crisis — How the emergency has reached a boiling point

“This will allow the province to facilitate next steps for occupancy. Modification of the modular unit to accommodate the two barrier-free bedrooms (with total capacity for two individuals) and single washroom is ongoing and is anticipated to be ready for occupancy by late January,” the news release read.

The modular units, which are located on Alderney Drive near Church Street, were initially scheduled to be finished by Dec. 20, 2021.

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The municipality said Gray Arena in Dartmouth, which was being used as a shelter, will “remain operational until alternate accommodations have been offered by the province to all individuals currently at that location.”

Read more: Halifax announces Centennial Pool parking lot as 2nd site for modular units

There are also plans to build nine modular units on the Halifax side of the harbour to house 38 people in the parking lot of the Centennial Pool on Gottingen Street.

The project is also costing more than first expected.

A report going to council on Tuesday is recommending that the municipality increase its budget for the modular units by $1.2 million.  The project had initially been approved for $3.7 million.

Temporary emergency shelters during extreme weather

Meanwhile, municipal buildings will continue to be used as temporary emergency shelters for those occupying encampments during severe weather.

Specifically, the municipality says the emergency shelters are in operation when temperatures are, “-15 C or below and/or snowfall amounts are 25 cm or greater.”

A temporary emergency shelter will be open Monday and Tuesday night. Environment Canada’s forecast is predicting wind chill near -25 C on Tuesday night.

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