Hope Mission won the right Wednesday to tear down and rebuild the 50-year-old Herb Jamieson Centre, despite community concerns the concentration of homeless services is damaging the neighbourhood.

A decision from the city’s arm’s-length subdivision and development appeal board gives the not-for-profit agency the right to rebuild a structure with cots for 400 men at the 100 Street and 105A Avenue site.

But officials still need to raise $5.5 million more in private donations, plus convince government officials a matching $8-million investment is worthwhile.

“We really need housing for people, not mats,” said McCauley Community League president Phil O’Hara, promising to lobby against any funding that would keep Edmonton’s shelters and homeless facilities concentrated in his neighbourhood.