09:47 AM

Vernon seniors moving into new affordable homes

VERNON - Seniors with low to moderate incomes are settling into 48 new affordable rental homes that are open in Vernon.

"Valuable seniors housing projects like the McCulloch building are only possible through strategic partnerships, like the one our government has with Vernon Pensioner's Accommodation Society," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Our government is building housing at a historic rate, and the McCulloch buildings are part of our work to boost the number of affordable, quality homes for seniors in Vernon and throughout the province."

Located at 3404 Coldstream Ave., McCulloch II is a four-storey apartment building with 42 one- bedroom homes, and six accessible one-bedroom homes for people living with disabilities. It is the second and final phase of the McCulloch Court seniors housing development. It is connected to the original McCulloch building in downtown Vernon.

"The housing crisis is affecting everyone in B.C., including seniors, which is why our government is working hard to build more good affordable homes that people can rely on," said Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors' Services and Long-Term Care, and MLA for Vernon-Monashee. "Having 48 new affordable rental homes on Coldstream Avenue become available to seniors in our community is such great news. I am proud of the meaningful investments that our government makes, which will benefit seniors and families in Vernon and the Okanagan for years to come."

McCulloch Court is within walking distance to amenities, including public transit, grocery stores and a seniors' centre. Rents for the units are based on unit size and tenant income, ranging from $375 to $900 a month.

Vernon Pensioner's Accommodation Society (VPAS) owns and operates the building.

"After 16-plus years of persistence, we are pleased to see our new 48-suite facility ready to move into," said Ray Ivey, board president, Vernon Pensioner's Accommodation Society. "Special acknowledgment to our staff and directors for their devotion and energy they have committed to this project. Also, special acknowledgment to the taxpayers of British Columbia, BC Housing, Terra Housing, Scuka Construction and the City of Vernon."

The Province, through BC Housing, invested $5.2 million to the project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, and is providing approximately $410,000 in annual operating funding. Vernon Pensioner's Accommodation Society provided the land for the project, valued at approximately $708,000, and a further $250,000 in equity for the construction of the building. The City of Vernon contributed approximately $404,000 in waived municipal and regional levies.

"Vernon's rental vacancy rate remains below 1%, which emphasizes the need to find collaborative and sustainable solutions for more housing stock to match a variety of needs," said Victor Cummings, mayor, Vernon. "That's why the City of Vernon is thrilled to see the results of this partnership between the Province and the VPAS to develop much-needed safe and affordable housing for Vernon seniors in a central location of the community. The city was pleased to assist the development project by paying the development cost charges."

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 76,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 500 homes in Vernon.

Quick Facts:

  • 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 already open or underway across the province.

Learn More:

To learn more 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 at: 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://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/