09:40 AM

New affordable housing coming soon for seniors in Merritt

MERRITT - Seniors in Merritt will soon have 40 new affordable rental home options and an opportunity to live independently and age in place in their community, close to friends and loved ones.

"The rising cost of housing and lack of affordable homes is preventing too many seniors from enjoying the good life they deserve after years of working hard," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "These new affordable rental homes will allow seniors to stay in their community and maintain the connections they have built over the years. "

The proposed 40-unit project will be designed to provide studio, one-bedroom and accessible apartments within a three-storey building.

"We are thrilled to see additional provincial funding to address what is a critical housing need in our community; affordable homes for seniors," said Linda Brown, mayor, City of Merritt. "As council, we look forward to seeing the proposed development plans and we are committed to working with ASK Wellness to ensure that this project meets the needs of seniors and the community at large."

ASK Wellness Society will help build the new affordable homes for low- to moderate-income seniors on provincially owned land. ASK Wellness Society also owns and operates the adjacent Juniper House, a 30-unit building for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

"ASK Wellness Society has operated programming and housing in Merritt for the past twelve years and believes in the importance of providing affordable and safe housing for all," said Bob Hughes, executive director, ASK Wellness Society. "Seniors in Merritt are an important part of the community and the development of this housing project showcases our commitment to helping meet the affordable housing needs of Merritt."

The project is in the design stage and construction is expected to begin in spring 2020.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • ASK Wellness Society is receiving $4 million from the Province to help build the housing project.
  • The housing project is part of the first series of projects selected to receive funding through the Province's Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years, to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for seniors, families and low- and middle-income earners.
  • The first round of projects under the Community Housing Fund are currently in development in 42 communities and will provide 4,900 new affordable rental homes.
  • The Community Housing Fund was launched in Budget 2018 as part of the Province's 30- point housing plan. The plan outlines the largest investment in affordable housing in B.C.'s history - more than $7 billion over 10 years. Through this investment, the Province will work in partnership to create 114,000 new, affordable homes.
  • As part of the Building BC housing funds, the Province is also investing over $92 million to build more than 90 units of affordable housing throughout the Interior. This includes:
    • Community Housing Fund: $63.2 million for 673 mixed-income homes
    • Indigenous Housing Fund: $29.5 million for 148 homes for Indigenous peoples
    • Women's Transition Housing Fund: 87 homes at 3 projects for women and children leaving violence.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government's 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

For information about the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and a map of the approved projects, visit: bchousing.org/CHF


Melanie Kilpatrick
Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
778 698-9176

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917