ADBA Board Unanimously Agrees To Put $10,000 Towards Housing Solution

On a motion from downtown land owner and one-time president Bob Bos, the Board of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) has voted unanimously to ask the membership at the next month’s Annual General Meeting to donate $10,000 to the pursuit of a housing solution for Abbotsford’s homeless population which cannot be housed in the City’s existing high barrier shelters.

ADBA President Paul MacLeod, told Today the money will be used to help efforts he will spearhead through an ad hoc committee of interested private citizens who are eager to help resolve the outstanding issue of homelessness for those who are unable to be housed in the only shelters Abbotsford has which preclude the participation of those with mental illness, drug addictions or alcohol dependence, or behaviours deemed unacceptable by the shelters the City will allow.

“I made the commitment before the painful public debate over the ACS/BC Housing proposal began that, regardless of the outcome, once that chapter in this city’s history was closed I would devote all of my efforts to find homes for those in our community who don’t have them and I am proud that the first organization to step up to the plate is the ADBA,” says MacLeod.

MacLeod told Today that the homelessness issue and the ACS/BC Housing proposal have divided the community he is calling for members of the community to come together and, like the ADBA, provide support to his efforts and those of the fledgling group he is putting together, to start putting an end to the division.

Edited 21:28 – 02/27/14

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Walter Neufeld says:

    The ADBA first helps kill a low barrier housing proposal that was supported by 15 million dollars in provincial funding and operated by our local ACS.

    In return, they ante up $10,000.00 toward finding a solution for a proposal just like the one they just helped kill.

    Sounds about right.

  • wintershades says:

    So $10,000.00 will absolve them of losing $15million !

  • Kevin says:

    that is completely incorrect. For starters it was 2.8 million (the paper falsely inflated it to 15 million based on 30 years of compounded funding). Secondly the ADBA wasn’t against such a facility in our city, just in that location. The cities zoning bylaw did not allow for such a facility and ACS knew that, so why did they proceed?? No one would have argued if it was in a location where the zoning allowed. This is very generous of the ADBA and shows there commitment to a solution to the issues.

  • Bas Stevens says:

    Kevin, firstly, please stop laying the blame at the feet of ACS. As Councilor Henry Braun so eloquently stated in his blog, the City of Abbotsford was aware of this project from day one. They are the ones who fumbled the ball.

    The total that BC Housing was prepared to put towards the project was $2.4 million for the building and operating costs over 60 years at $215,000.00 per year for a grand total of $15.3 million and those are just straight figures, not compounded!

    Both Mayor Banman and the ADBA have done a huge dis-service to our community and the homeless. I fail to understand, or see how, $10,000.00 equates to a replacement for the loss of $15.3 million. It is not even a drop in the bucket, so to speak.

    Is this money that Mr. McLeod is offering on behalf of the ADBA their association’s money or is it actually money from the taxpayers of Abbotsford? Until shown otherwise, I believe that this pittance of an offering is nothing more than another case of “smoke and mirrors” on the part of ADBA, Mr. Bob Bos and Paul McLeod.

  • Walter Neufeld says:


    Please check your facts before spreading more misinformation that appears to echo the ADBA’s.

    Councillor Henry Braun has provided a factual backgrounder which outlines the process followed by ACS’ and the City. City gave assent to every phase of ACS’ proposal over the years it took to develop.

    ACS’ resultant proposal was a win-win for Abbotsford and its homeless community. That proposal was defeated because of unsubstantiated fear mongering: the ADBA * its supporters should shoulder most of the blame for that.

    The value of ACS’ defeated proposal is 15 million + and the ADBA now claims to support a non-non-existent alternative, with non-existent funding, at a non-existent location, and a non-existent service provider?

    Profoundly shameful

    “February 26, 2014
    “ACS Housing Proposal – Flawed Or Hijacked?” by Henry Braun
    Much has already been said since last Monday’s Council’s decision to deny Abbotsford Community Services (“ACS”), supportive housing initiative, which would have seen BC Housing contribute $2,400,000 toward the construction of the building and another $12,900,000 (60 years x $215,000 per year), for operational costs.

    A repeated comment made by those who oppose the ACS project is that the negotiation process was flawed, implying that something “underhanded” or “sneaky” was going on behind the scenes. Nothing could be further from the truth!

    The process began in September of 2008 with the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding (“MOU”) between the City and BC Housing. Two projects were completed (Christine Lamb, and George Schmidt Centre at Kinghaven), in May 2012 and February 2013. That left a 20 unit “low barrier” supportive housing project for men to be built.

    Expressions of Interest (“EOI”), for the 3rd “low barrier” housing site predate my time on Council, which means that the process was well under way prior to December 5, 2011, the date of my first Council meeting.

    Eventually a second ACS public forum was held and comments were made that the ACS proposal was the City’s remaining outstanding obligation to fulfill its commitment pursuant to the MOU. In other words, since only 30 of the 50 units slated for the Emerson & Peardonville site were constructed at Kinghaven, the remaining 20 units would have to be constructed at a third location. We know from the public record that plans for the 30 units at Kinghaven were announced in April 2011. That means that the original MOU would have been amended to reflect the scope change of the project prior to April, 2011, in order to permit the 20 “low barrier” housing units to be built at a third location.

    During the Public Hearing, representatives from both BC Housing and ACS, in response to allegations that something “underhanded” had taken place between the proponent and the City, replied that the City had been involved in the Request For Proposal (“RFP”). Additionally, that Council had agreed in Principle to donate a portion of Montvue Avenue in order to ensure that ACS had sufficient lands to construct the proposed building. Without that agreement in Principle (during the first half of 2012), the project could not have proceeded at the proposed location.
    If those on Council who are now opposed to this project were concerned about the location/zoning, they should have voiced their concerns then and voted against the request to cede a portion of Montvue Avenue to the ACS. This could have stopped the project in its tracks and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer and donor dollars could have been saved. Instead BC Housing and ACS were subjected to significant costs, which included architectural drawings, consultants, legal fees to name a few, not to mention all of the staff time that all three organizations invested in the process.

    When BC Housing released ACS from the confidentiality agreement, ACS made the public and the ADBA aware of the conditional award in June 2013. Shortly thereafter, the City began to look at alternative sites. All of the alternate locations were acceptable to ACS, PROVIDED, that the City would pick up the costs for redesigning their plans and the additional operational costs over the life of the project. To suggest that ACS was not prepared to move to alternate sites is simply false.

    What is puzzling, at least to me, is that one of the alternate sites proposed by the City was located within the ADBA. During a discussion that I had with the President of the ADBA, he stated he expected the ADBA would endorse that alternate site. The proposed alternate site is 120 meters closer to the intersection of Essendene and Montrose, the heart of the historic downtown, than the ASC site. If the City had agreed to reimburse ACS for the cost of redoing the drawings and paying for the increased operational costs, ACS and BC Housing would have accepted the alternate site and the ADBA would have supported it.

    The notion that Fraser Health Authority would provide land for a “low barrier” housing project after defeating the Bylaw is beyond belief. Moreover, the MOU makes it clear that it is City’s responsibility to provide the land, not Fraser Health Authority. Since we walked away from our commitments to BC Housing & ACS, why would Fraser Health Authority even want to entertain the idea of getting involved knowing that Council has already turned down two sites? Without a shred of evidence to support the claim that Fraser Health Authority is even remotely interested, Council walked away from 6 years of work and $15.3 million dollars that BC Housing had committed to this City.

    It is unfortunate that claims are now being made that the negotiation process was flawed, especially since the ACS process was the same one used for the other two projects (Christine Lamb & George Schmidt). From this Councillor’s perspective, the process was not flawed but appears to have been hijacked while trying to rewrite history.”

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  • tridelo says:

    Mr. Macleod the great businessman forgot the “word of mouth principle” that the majority of large corporations know as fact. People like me whom people like him DEPEND on. Once business fail to earn profits and have to shut down, and “his buildings” will remain vacant. Can’t sell an unwanted commodity. Mr. Macleod is a prime example of pathetic, decietful businessmen still dumping the chicken manure on the homeless through false pretences. What a joke– How stupid do you think people really are Mr. Macleod? Mr. Elitist throws out $10000.00 for … nearly 15 million?! All in hopes to cover his true distain for those who are helpless….

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