11:16 AM

More homes on the way for Gibsons seniors

GIBSONS - More affordable housing is coming to Gibsons as construction starts soon on 76 homes for low- and middle-income seniors.

"This redevelopment will not only ensure quality homes for seniors remain in Gibsons, but will also add 56 new units to boost the supply of affordable housing in the community," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Our government's housing action plan is focused on all people, including seniors, and we will continue to support and respect them by delivering affordable options like this in communities throughout B.C."

The redevelopment, located at 824 and 840 Kiwanis Way, will move forward in two phases. Work on Phase 1 will start shortly to build a three-storey addition with 29 new units to an existing 22-unit building. Phase 2 will see a four-storey, 47-unit building replace a 20-unit building that has reached its end of lifespan. The project will create a net increase of 56 new units.

The Kiwanis Club of Sunshine Coast, in Gibsons, which operates the existing buildings, will operate both the additional expansion units and the redeveloped project.

"The board of directors of the Kiwanis Club of the Sunshine Coast, in association with the Gibsons Lions Club and with a membership made up of its volunteers, has managed the Kiwanis Village and Heritage Apartments for more than 20 years," said Jim Barnes, chair, Kiwanis Club of the Sunshine Coast. "We are looking forward to getting these projects up and running soon. We hope we can count on continuing support of this project from our community."

The wood-frame projects will include amenities, such as common lounge spaces, accessible laundry in both buildings, multi-purpose areas and a new outdoor patio area accessible to residents of both buildings.

"Seniors are seriously impacted by the housing crisis, so this much-needed housing is a welcome addition to the Sunshine Coast," said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. "I am glad to see these homes coming to Gibsons and to see more like these throughout the province to make sure people with a range of incomes have access to homes they can afford."

Once both construction phases are complete, rents at the building will be a mix of rent-geared- to-income where residents pay 30% of their income for rent, market rates and deep-subsidy rates for people on income assistance. Final rental rates will be determined closer to the building opening.

"Thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Sunshine Coast for working with us to help seniors in Gibsons, including those on fixed incomes, find a good, affordable home," said Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors' Services and Long-Term Care. "This is part of our government's ongoing and historic investments to address housing availability, and I know these homes will benefit the Gibsons and Sunshine Coast community for years to come."

Residents of the existing 20-unit building, which will be demolished, will be offered an opportunity to relocate into the new Phase 1 units, with the same rent once they are completed. The construction schedule is structured so current residents will not be displaced from their homes due to the redevelopment. Phase 1 construction is expected to be complete in late 2024. The anticipated completion date for Phase 2 is 2026.

"In the 2021 census, the Sunshine Coast's median age was 56 and our highest demographic for population growth has been in the 65+ age group," said Silas White, mayor of Gibsons. "Meanwhile, income on the Sunshine Coast is significantly lower than provincial and national averages. We absolutely need this housing in Gibsons, so we commend and celebrate the hard work and vision of the Gibsons Lions and Kiwanis clubs, and the tremendous support from the provincial government through BC Housing."

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 76,000 new homes that have been delivered or underway, including nearly 540 on the Sunshine Coast.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province contributed approximately $8.5 million to the project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.
  • The Community Housing Fund is a $3.3-billion investment to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes.
  • More than 9,000 of these homes are open or underway across the province.

Learn More:

For information about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

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

For information 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/