Families in need of three and four bedroom homes can now apply to live in one of 65 temporary housing units being sent by the Province.
These homes are coming from Slave Lake and will be set up in Parsons Creek, for up to two years, with residents being able to move in sometime in October.
“It’s going to be on a first come first serve basis with the size of the family, will likely dictate the size of the unit,” said Greg Elsasser, Acting President/ CEO of the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation. “So they’re not going to be able to choose the units unfortunately, we just want to make sure when they come here we’re putting people in housing as soon as possible.”
Certain criteria must be met to be eligible for the units. You must have lived in Fort McMurray before the fire; your home must have been destroyed or damaged with these units being designed just for families with at least one child under the age of 18.
“If they don’t meet the criteria, we will have application forms for our GAP housing and social housing programs as well.” said Elsasser. “If they qualify for those programs then we will be able to put them in other housing that is available.”
As of Wednesday September 7th, the municipality has 28 one room units, 63 two room units and 23 units with three or more rooms available.
Applications will be accepted weekdays from 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. They will continue to accept applications even after the 65 units have been filled.
“We don’t have any time requirements, so if their house is damaged and it can be repaired in a three month time period, that’s great, they can come here and as soon as their house is ready and available we’ll let them move out and we’ll fill it with another family,” said Elsasser.
He adds the plan is to set up six month leases, with three month renewals, with anyone needing to move before that being asked to give a 30 day notice, but they won’t be too stringent on that.
Rent will be at market value pre-fire, with the three bedroom units costing $2,500 a month while a four bedroom unit will cost $2,650 a month.
Anyone who can’t make it in-person can call 587-536-0111 or 780-743-4140 to set up an application. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
People who live in the area can still call to make application but it’s being recommended to come in-person and get a firsthand look inside the units.
The units are not all the same, but are pet-friendly with appliances and services included.