SAGA member Nicole Oud and president Joanne Voss read over their report into homelessness in Smithers last year.

Smithers affordable housing project aborted due to lack of resources

The Smithers Action Group Association has shut down, ending its decade-long push to build an affordable housing complex in Smithers.

A Smithers community group has been forced to abandon its decade-long push to build an affordable housing complex due to a lack of funding.

The Smithers Action Group Association (SAGA) is a non-profit, volunteer-run group whose goal is to reduce homelessness in Smithers.

The group had been working towards building a supportive housing complex, which would provide assistance for people who need help to stay housed.

The project appeared to gain momentum last year, when Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said two lots purchased by the the Town of Smithers for affordable housing developments could be a potential location for the SAGA project.

The Town also vowed to work with SAGA to identify a location for the project in its Strategic Priorities report for 2015-2018.

However, on Feb. 10, SAGA’s board of directors voted to dissolve the society due to a lack of resources.

“Our decision to dissolve the society has been a very difficult one,” said SAGA president Joanne Voss.

“It comes at a time when issues of homelessness are as important as ever in this community and the need for supportive housing must remain a top priority.”

In a statement released today, SAGA said it hoped Town council and community organizations would continue working to establish supportive housing in Smithers.

SAGA’s assets will be transferred to the Positive Living North Society’s lunch program for the homeless.

For full coverage see the March 2 edition of The Interior News.