Freedom's Door denied funding for Rutland apartments

A controversial project pegged for Rutland is hitting a significant roadblock.

A 49-unit apartment building that was set to house graduates of the Freedom's Door 12-step addiction program isn't getting funding from the province.

Co-founder Tom Smithwick says the hope was to get $4 million of the needed $9 million.

"It would appear that we're not going to be getting the grant that we applied for from BC Housing. We made that application over a year ago, the (city approved) rezoning was in October, so we were expecting by now to have had a positive indication that our grant was going to be approved," he said.

"The entire project was a $9 million project, we were seeking $4 million from the government - our goal was to raise $5 million ourselves and to seek $4 million as the start-up funds from the government. It would appear that we do not fall within their criteria for the type of housing that they're going to be providing grant funds to assist."

The project was planned for the corner of McCurdy and Rutland Road, and was passed at a high-tension public hearing last September, which saw hundreds of people pack City Hall, most in opposition to the project.

Smithwick says there's a couple other possibilities.

"We need the miracle of a guy stepping forward and giving us the $4 million the government won't - okay, there's Plan B. Our Plan C is to go out and buy another duplex, as a result of the community generousity, we're looking at going and finding another one," he said.

"If somebody's got a duplex out there that they want to sell to a really good program, boy, you contact us because we need to provide housing to get rid of our waiting list."

Freedom's Door already owns and operates five duplexes, and is an abstinence-based treatment program for those suffering from addiction.