Homes open soon for seniors displaced by flooding in Princeton
PRINCETON - Twenty new temporary homes will open soon for seniors displaced by 2021 flooding, supported by the Province through BC Housing, the Town of Princeton, and the Princeton and District Community Services Society (PDCSS).
"I'm thrilled to see doors open soon for this new development. Seniors affected by the 2021 flood can be fully back in the community they call home and can continue rebuilding their lives," said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. "A big thank you to all the partners involved for helping us build this project so quickly. I look forward to continued collaboration to provide permanent seniors housing options and other developments that will provide even more opportunities for the residents and the community of Princeton to thrive moving forward."
Located on lots D and E in the Stan Thompson Industrial Park, the development has 10 modular units, each with two separate one-bedroom apartments and a shared laundry space. Each apartment has a kitchen, private bathroom and balcony. Extensive landscaping also provides additional privacy and outdoor space for tenants to enjoy.
The development will provide housing to seniors who were previously living in the Silver Crest apartment buildings, which were severely damaged by flooding in November 2021. Tenants who were displaced from Silver Crest and have not been able to secure housing elsewhere have been offered the option to move into the new units. Previous Silver Crest residents will continue to pay the same monthly rents they were paying prior to the flooding. Any remaining units will be made available to other eligible Princeton-area seniors.
"The November 2021 flooding profoundly affected people in Princeton, including seniors living in low-cost housing. With these new homes, seniors who have been displaced for months can return to their community and support networks," said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. "We know there is more recovery work to be done, and our government is committed to supporting people and communities as they continue moving forward."
The Province provided approximately $1.4 million for the project and BC Housing will provide approximately $32,000 in annual operating funding. The Town of Princeton provided the land for the building on a five-year lease. BC Housing is in discussions with the town and other partners to secure a permanent replacement housing project.
"I am thankful that this project came together relatively quickly to address the needs of those displaced by the flood," said Spencer Coyne, mayor of Princeton. “The Town of Princeton thanks BC Housing for working with us to create this temporary solution for people needing a stable housing option while we continue working together to find permanent accommodation.”
The new homes will be operated by PDCSS. Residents are expected to start moving into the building on May 1, 2023.
"PDCSS is excited to welcome past and new tenants into this temporary development. After a long year of unknowns, it is wonderful to be able to provide a safe and secure space that tenants can call home," said Becky Vermette, executive director, PDCSS. "PDCSS wishes to thank all levels of government for their efforts to bring this development to fruition."
The project is part of B.C.'s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 40,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway, including more than 470 homes in the Okanagan-Similkameen region.
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/
A backgrounder follows.
Funding for communities affected by floods
- Government is providing the 10 B.C. communities severely affected by the November 2021 floods with $53.6 million to support recovery work and get people back into their communities.
- In addition to supporting intermediate temporary housing for displaced residents of Princeton, the grants will enable all 10 local governments to:
- take care of initial flood-recovery costs not covered by other assistance programs;
- carry out initial small-scale recovery-related capital projects;
- implement planning, feasibility studies and design work to support resilient infrastructure; and
- restore infrastructure in a way that provides additional resilience to climate events.
- This funding is part of more than $2.1 billion that Budget 2022 provided to help people recover from floods and wildfires, and to better protect communities against future climate disasters.