A plan to convert a Barrie motel into a 17-unit affordable housing complex is taking a small step forward.

Simcoe County council recently granted permission for staff to continue negotiations to purchase the property, secure provincial funding and finalize agreements with project partners the City of Barrie, Redwood Park Communities and David Busby Street Centre.

“We are hopeful that this innovative proposal will proceed as planned, but it is important to note that the property acquisition is not complete and that until all components are confirmed any speculation about this project being finalized is inaccurate,” county social housing director Arfona Zwiers said. “Once these items are completed, further information will be brought forward to county council.”

If built as planned, the complex will be used to house chronically homeless individuals with mental health and addiction challenges.