Marking their third anniversary, the Atangard Community Project hoisted a new sign and held an open house Saturday for visitors to gain an inside peek at this unique housing project in downtown Abbotsford.
The project is on the second floor of the red brick Fraser Valley Inn, formerly called the Atangard Hotel in bygone days.
A few years ago, when the FVI was troubled by drug dealers and addicts living in its single occupancy rooms, the city ordered the rooms closed or cleaned up.
A group of young adults saw an opportunity to create affordable housing, and the society was born.
Since 2009, the non-profit group has provided affordable accommodations for students and young professionals with an emphasis on community.
With old-fashioned elbow grease, society members converted the old hotel rooms into 19 single and double occupancy living quarters with private baths, ranging from 150 to 300 square feet.
The target demographic often deals with unstable living arrangements, isolation and stressful finances.
Several members are active in community building, art, music and politics. They also operate an auto-share among themselves, and bike, garden, recycle and cook together, like one big family.
The residences are managed by Atangard project directors. People between the ages of 19 and 35, who are either a student enrolled in an accredited institution or employed, can apply.
Read more at atangardcommunityproject.blogspot.ca.