09:06 AM

New homes for displaced seniors underway in Princeton

PRINCETON - The Province, together with BC Housing, the Town of Princeton, and the Princeton and District Community Services Society, has started work on 20 new temporary homes for seniors who lost their homes to flooding in 2021.

"The flooding in Princeton last year was devastating to the community," said Murray Rankin, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "These new homes will provide temporary relief to seniors affected by the flooding, so they no longer have to worry about having a place to call home. We know there is a lot of work that still needs to be done and our government is committed to supporting the recovery."

Located on lots D and E in Stan Thompson Industrial Park, the development will consist of 10 modular units, each with two separate one-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will have a kitchen, private bathroom and balcony. Laundry will be available in each modular home, shared between two units. Extensive landscaping will help provide additional privacy and outdoor space for tenants to enjoy.

The development will house seniors who were previously living in the Silvercrest apartment buildings, which were severely damaged by flooding in November 2021. All tenants who were displaced from Silvercrest and have not been able to secure housing elsewhere will be offered the option to move into the new units. Previous Silvercrest 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. 

"For people in Princeton, finding appropriate, affordable housing was difficult even before last year's floods," said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen. "B.C. and the Town of Princeton have been working closely since then to find ways to help community members.  These units will provide temporary homes for seniors in Princeton, while we continue to work with all our partners on permanent housing solutions to build Princeton back even better." 

Government provided a grant of $1.4 million for the project, while the Town of Princeton provided the land on a five-year lease. BC Housing will also support this project with funding and is in discussions with the town and other partners to secure permanent replacement housing. 

The new homes will be operated by the Princeton and District Community Services Society (PDCSS).  

"PDCSS is thrilled to see the development of a temporary housing development that will provide tenants with a sense of security and routine that has been lacking since the flooding events of November 2021," said Becky Vermette, executive director, PDCSS. "PDCSS wishes to thank BC Housing and the Town of Princeton for their efforts to bring this much-needed development to the community of Princeton. " 

Construction is expected to be complete in early 2023.   

"Although not a permanent solution, I am happy that we will have an interim housing option for those who were displaced by the November flood," said Spencer Coyne, mayor of Princeton. "This is a unique solution, and the town is thankful to the Province and BC Housing for working with us toward a stable housing option until that permanent solution is found." 

Along with this project, the Province has funded more than 35,000 affordable homes that have been completed or are underway, including more than 470 homes in the Okanagan-Similkameen region.   

Quick Facts:

  • Government is providing the 10 B.C. communities severely affected by the November 2021 floods with $53.6 million in funding to support recovery work and get people back into their communities. 
  • In addition to supporting intermediate temporary housing for displaced residents of Merritt and Princeton, the grants will enable the 110 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. 
  • The funding is part of more than $2.1 billion that Budget 2022 provides to help people recover from last year's floods and wildfires, and to better protect communities against future climate disasters. 

Learn More:

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/