Homes opening for seniors, people living with disabilities in Comox
COMOX - Seniors and people living with disabilities in Comox are moving into 52 new affordable and accessible rental homes with the opening of Cypress Gardens.
"The north Island is not immune to the housing crisis and Cypress Gardens will give seniors and people who need accessible housing in the Comox Valley a safe and affordable place to live and age in place," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Our government shares the community's excitement in seeing the building open and will continue to work with our partners to support the housing needs for seniors and people living with disabilities throughout B.C."
Located at 1582 Balmoral Ave., the new three-storey wood-frame building is owned and operated by the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society (CVAHS). The 52 one-bedroom units are for seniors 60 and older, and people of all ages living with disabilities. The building replaces a 16-unit townhouse complex owned by CVAHS, which was reaching the end of its lifespan, and more than triples the number of affordable housing units on the site and enhances the neighbourhood.
"We are taking action to make sure people can stay in the communities where they have connections and feel safe and comfortable," said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay- Comox. "Thank you to the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society for their work to improve the quality of life for seniors and people living with disabilities. I look forward to seeing the difference these new innovative homes will make in our community for years to come."
Cypress Gardens was carefully designed to meet the needs of people with various disabilities that might affect mobility, vision and hearing. Twelve of the units are wheelchair accessible. The remaining units are adaptable, meaning they have been designed to easily accommodate future renovations to improve accessibility if the tenant's needs change. The building has earned a certified gold rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program.
"This building shows that with a bit of pre-planning, affordable housing can be made accessible to everyone," said Ann Janssen, executive director, CVAHS. "By making housing accessible, we can enable people to thrive, making a difference in the lives of those with disabilities and seniors who wish to age in place."
The building features a large community room, an on-site office and a laundry facility on each floor. It is located close to downtown Comox, providing easy access to nearby shopping, medical care and recreational facilities.
"Congratulations to the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society for their RHF Accessibility Certified Gold achievement at Cypress Gardens," said Brad McCannell, vice-president of Access and Inclusion, Rick Hansen Foundation. "This project demonstrates the kind of leadership needed to ensure our communities can accommodate people of all ages, incomes and abilities. An RHFAC gold environment delivers the aging-in-place solutions needed to support residents now and in the future."
Rent for half the units will be geared to income, where rent is 30% of the tenant's income. Some of the units will be rented to households with very low incomes, such as those receiving income or disability assistance, or a basic senior's pension. Others will be rented at affordable market rates, ranging from $1,400 to $1,450 per month.
"We are delighted about the opening of Cypress Gardens," said Nicole Minions, mayor of Comox. "We know the residents were eagerly anticipating completion and we warmly welcome them into their new homes. Its design, considerate of diverse abilities, proudly fosters an inclusive living space in our community."
This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including more than 800 in the Comox Valley.
- The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $5.2 million to the project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide approximately
- $161,000 in annual operating funding.
- CVAHS provided $1.84 million in equity as well as the land, which was valued at $890,000 at the time of purchase.
To learn more about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing