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Auburn’s 80-bed homeless shelter suffers 5-2 zoning board defeat: What happens next?

A proposed 80-bed homeless shelter in Auburn encountered significant resistance, leading to a setback at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting where a request for a use variance was denied.

The shelter, intended to be developed by Housing Visions at the site of the former Holy Family School on North Street, faced public opposition.


The board’s 5-2 vote against the variance marks a considerable hindrance to the project, initially aimed at offering permanent housing units alongside recreational space.

Residents near the proposed site expressed concerns for their safety and the character of their neighborhood, arguing that the shelter’s presence could alter their way of life and diminish their sense of security.

The decision to reject the variance stems from concerns over the shelter’s compatibility with the residential area’s character and potential adverse effects on the neighborhood. The future of the project remains uncertain.