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Apt. manager responds to complaints

Daya DeVries, manager of the Northside Apartments, says a lot of people have the wrong idea about the tenants who live in the apartments “There are a lot of good people living here,” she said.

For many of the families, moving into the apartments has meant a major improvement in their living conditions, she said.

“The first family I put in there, the lady was crying she was so happy,” she said. “That’s a great feeling.”

The notion that crime is a daily occurrence at the apartments is wrong, DeVries said.

To address concerns, DeVries said additional security cameras have been installed around the complex, and she’s able to monitor live video on her smartphone or tablet.

DeVries said she also works closely with local police to handle any problems that arise. If residents see squad cars coming to the apartments on a regular basis, she said they should see that as a good thing for public safety.

“Just because they’re driving by doesn’t mean something is happening,” she said. “They’re just doing their job.”

Whenever new tenants move in, DeVries said they are provided with a packet of information that includes the phone number for the local police. She encourages them to call it if they need to report a crime.

DeVries said a couple of high-profile incidents have painted a distorted picture of what life is like at the Northside Apartments.

“As far as safety, I live here with my son,” she said. “I’m not scared one bit.”

Even though 80 apartments have been built in just the last couple years, DeVries says they’re already at full occupancy. She said she continues to get calls every day from people who want to move to Abbotsford.

“There’s no place to put more people,” she said.

DeVries said Abbyland is following the process laid out by the city for rezoning the land north of the existing apartments so that more can be built.

“We’re not trying to slide this through,” she said. “It was just decided, after the last building was done, maybe we could built two more.”

Ultimately, she said Abbyland is trying to give its employees a chance at a better life.

“A lot of these people need help, and this is a good opportunity for these people, and a lot of them are really making the best of it,” she said.

In response to concerns from residents in the Sportsmens Addition, DeVries said she honestly didn’t realize how upset they were until recently.

“I don’t want them to feel this way. I don’t like it all,” she said. “I want to be their neighbors.”

DeVries said she’s willing to meet with anyone who has concerns.

“Anyone can come here at any time. I would give them a tour, I would talk to them,” she said.

DeVries said she plans to attend the May 14 hearing to help address concerns from the public.

“Let’s try to make it better rather than tear it apart,” she said.