Affordable rental homes for seniors, people in need coming to Nelson
NELSON – A former motel site will soon make way for 47 new affordable homes for seniors, adults with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness in Nelson.
“To do well in life, people need a place to call home, and we are making sure that more people in our community have that today,” said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “These new homes will provide safe, secure and affordable housing for people in our community. Our government would like to thank our community partners who have worked so hard to make this project possible.”
The new four-storey building, Lakeside Place, will bring 42 affordable housing units for seniors and adults with disabilities and another five units for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The building will have laundry facilities, an amenity room with a residential kitchen and office space for Nelson CARES Society Kootenay Seniors program. The site, located at 805 Nelson Ave., formerly housed a 20-unit motel, which was demolished in 2018.
In partnership with the City of Nelson, a large outdoor space is proposed on the east side of the building, providing outdoor space for residents and the larger community.
“I would like to thank Nelson CARES, the Province of British Columbia and Columbia Basin Trust for bringing this much-needed project to our community,” said John Dooley, mayor, City of Nelson. “Nelson has experienced a near 0% vacancy rate for several years, and we are hopeful that projects such as this will free up housing units in our community, while providing affordable accommodation for our seniors and persons living with disabilities.”
Nelson CARES Society provided the land for the project and will own and operate the building once it is complete. The society also operates an adjacent eight-unit building to serve people at risk of homelessness and will connect residents at both sites to supports in the community.
The Province provided $8.6 million for the project, as well as construction financing. Columbia Basin Trust provided a grant of $200,000 for the development of the project.
“I am very pleased that Columbia Basin Trust continues to support residents of the basin with their housing needs,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and minister responsible for Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia River Treaty and Columbia Power Corporation. “Communities and agencies are able to work in partnership with the trust to access capital grants, proposal development support and funding through their housing programs to help support people so that they can stay in their communities.”
Construction began in September 2019 and is scheduled to be completed by late 2020.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Jenny Robinson, executive director, Nelson CARES Society –
“We are grateful to our funding partners and to see this project underway. This new housing is desperately needed and will bring relief to many in the community.”
Johnny Strilaeff, president and chief executive officer, Columbia Basin Trust –
“One of our priorities is to help people in the Columbia Basin access affordable housing that meets their basic needs. Through strong partnerships, this project will bring more affordable rental housing options to Nelson residents, strengthening the quality of life in the community.”
- The project will include 36 one-bedroom, six two-bedroom and five studio units, for a total of 47 homes.
- In addition to these 47 homes, the Province is working in partnership to build nearly 300 new affordable homes in the Kootenays, including:
- Community Housing Fund: 122 affordable rental homes for individuals, families and senior
- Indigenous Housing Fund: 52 units of social housing for Indigenous peoples
- Women's Transition Housing Fund: 15 affordable rental housing units for women and children leaving violence
- Oct. 13-19 is Homelessness Action Week, where communities throughout the province participate to increase awareness of homelessness in B.C. and encourage people to get involved with local organizations to find solutions.
- To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.'s housing market and helping build 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
To learn more about Nelson CARES Society, visit: www.nelsoncares.ca
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Community Housing Fund makes homes more affordable
The B.C. government provided $5.2 million for this project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, which is a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes throughout the province. Nearly 5,200 of these homes are in development and under construction.
- The Province is also providing approximately $670,000 in annual operating funding to make these homes more affordable.
- Projects built under the Community Housing Fund will reflect the following mix of incomes:
- 30% of the units will be for middle-income households, with annual incomes up to approximately $107,000.
- 50% of the units will be for a range of low- to moderate-income households with annual incomes below the housing income limits, ranging from $21,000 to $96,000. (Housing income limits represent the income needed to pay the average market rent in a specific community).
- 20% of the units will be for households with low incomes, which are up to $30,000 annually.
- The monthly rental rates for this project are:
- Eleven units for people with low incomes (i.e., seniors on fixed incomes and people receiving income assistance): $375 (one-bedroom) to $660 (three-bedroom).
- Twenty-six rent geared to income units (people with low to moderate incomes): $420 (one-bedroom) to $660 (three-bedroom).
- Fifteen middle-income units: $825 (one-bedroom) to $1,150 (three-bedroom).
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live — from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) - approximately 4,120 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
- HousingHub: approximately 2,620 homes.
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) - approximately 9,320 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
- Regional Housing First Program: more than 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) - more than 3,060 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: nearly 800 homes with 24/7 support.
- Regional Housing First Program: more than 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.
Housing for women and children leaving violence - approximately 360 homes:
- Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 spaces of transition,
- second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
Housing for students - approximately 5,600 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
- Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Total: approximately 22,460 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing