11:03 AM

Seniors to benefit from over 150 new affordable homes in Nanaimo

NANAIMO – Seniors will get relief from rising housing costs, with more than 150 new affordable rental homes coming to Nanaimo.

The new units will allow more seniors to stay in their community, thanks to a partnership between the British Columbia government, the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society and the City of Nanaimo.

“Every senior in British Columbia deserves the peace of mind that comes with having safe and affordable housing – yet too many seniors can’t find the secure, accessible, affordable homes they need,” said Premier John Horgan. “We are building new affordable homes right here for this community, so seniors can stay close to friends and family.”

Located at 10 Buttertubs Dr., the project will provide 159 safe and secure homes for seniors, adding to the 82 existing rental homes at the property. Each floor will have a laundry room, and indoor and outdoor areas for dining and socializing.

Tenants will also have the opportunity to buy affordable meals, prepared in the commercial kitchen of the existing building, and receive light housekeeping services.

“Seniors on fixed incomes in Nanaimo, and throughout the province, are struggling to meet rising housing costs, putting them at risk of homelessness,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Through community partnerships, we will continue to build homes, like the ones underway in Nanaimo, to make sure more seniors have homes they can afford.”

Construction will start later in summer 2018, and is expected to be complete by September 2020.

“On behalf of council, I am extremely pleased the City of Nanaimo could play a role in this important initiative,” said Bill McKay, mayor, City of Nanaimo. “I want to thank the Province for their continued support in providing affordable housing across the broad spectrum of need in our city.”

“We are very pleased to be able to develop this new seniors’ complex for Nanaimo,” said Jim Spinelli, executive director, Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society. “These new units will have a major impact in reducing the current challenge for seniors to find affordable rental accommodation in the community.”

Monthly rental rates are expected to range between $706 (studio) and $1,147 (two bedroom).

Quick Facts:

  • The Province is providing approximately $16.6 million in capital funding and $27.8 million in interim construction financing for the project.
  • The City of Nanaimo is providing municipal waivers in the amount of approximately $253,000.
  • The Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society is providing $100,000 in equity.
  • To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.’s housing market, and building 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
  • Budget 2018 launched the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C. history – more than $7 billion over 10 years. This includes $58 million over three years to expand eligibility and increase the average benefits of the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program, which provides rent supplements in the private market to low-income seniors.
    • As a result of these changes, over 17,000 existing low-income seniors will see their SAFER benefits increase, and 700 new senior households will become eligible.
    • The average payment for SAFER recipients will go up by approximately $930 a year.
    • These enhancements will begin Sept. 1, 2018.

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