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Floods leave B.C. residents searching for temporary housing, those with vacancies called on to help

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Flooding in B.C.'s Fraser Valley has left displaced residents and their families looking for places to live on a short-term basis, according to the non-profit Atira Women’s Resource Society.

Chief executive officer Janice Abbott told CTV News Vancouver they heard from about 21 staff members and their families who live in the valley on Wednesday morning.

“We have a number of staff who live in mostly Abbotsford who rent, obviously for the cost…and commute in to Vancouver or Surrey to work,” she said. “They’ve been flooded out of their homes.”

Abbott said they managed to find temporary housing on Wednesday for the daughter of one of their staff members: a woman and her four children.

“We were able to find her space in a transition house…I don’t know yet and I’m not sure she knows yet whether returning to her home is ever possible,” Abbott said, and added the family wasn’t able to stay all together.

"In the midst of all of this crisis and turmoil and stress, the mom had to put her kids with family members so they were in three different locations, the family of five, which just added to her stress.”

Abbott said they are working on finding short-term housing for others as well.

“I was able to reach out to someone I know through work who owns a number of apartment buildings in the Fraser Valley, and he’s going to make his vacancies available short term,” she said. “I just hope that everybody who has a vacant space is open to making it available on a short term basis.”

Abbott expected the request for temporary housing help to increase, and added people can contact Atira if they need help finding somewhere to stay. She said those with spaces to offer can also reach out.

“If somebody has a space they’re willing to make available, they can absolutely call us,” she said. “We can refer people who are displaced by those floods into those units.”

Atira’s housing outreach team can be contacted by phone at 604-315-1713, or via email at housingoutreach@atira.bc.ca. 

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