Delight is the flavour of the day as the City of Salmon Arm and the District of Sicamous hear they will each receive $3 million or more from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for affordable housing projects.
In Salmon Arm, the Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke will receive $3 million for 71 homes for families and seniors.
Unable to discuss the project at this time, CMHA executive-director Dawn Dunlop says she is excited by the prospect of affordable housing coming to Salmon Arm.
Also thrilled is City of Salmon Arm Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond, who is a member of council’s Housing Task Force.
“I am delighted with the partnerships and supports and very much looking forward to the next steps,” she says of a Nov. 13 BC Housing press release. “It’s all good; I can’t wait for it to happen.”
In Sicamous, the Eagle Valley Senior Citizen Housing Society will receive $3.6 million for 36 homes for people with disabilities, families and seniors.
Phaedra Idzan, housing administrator for the Eagle Valley Seniors Housing Society, says it is a very exciting time for Sicamous.
Middle-income families in 40 other communities as the province moves forward with more than 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes as part of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.
“Years of inaction on the B.C. housing crisis left families struggling to get by and unable to get ahead,” said Premier John Horgan. “These new, affordable rental homes are an important step toward addressing the housing crisis and giving families in every part of the province a break from skyrocketing housing costs.”
The new homes are designed to address the need for affordable housing across a range of income levels, in response to a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for even middle-class families.
Much like past investments in co-op and non-profit housing, individual buildings will contain units aimed at a mix of income levels, including homes for middle-income individuals and families, deeply subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers.
“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are building housing so that growing families, aging seniors and low- to moderate-income individuals can afford homes in the communities they live and work in,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new homes will have life-changing impacts for people and communities right across the province.”
The Province’s new Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years, will build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for seniors, families and low- and middle-income earners, with many to include child care. These 4,900 homes, the first set of projects selected through this fund, will include both non-profits and co-ops, and will be built over the next two to three years.
The Province, through BC Housing, selected the first set of projects based on a number of criteria, including targeted clients and the impact the project is expected to have in reducing the community’s affordable rental housing need.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the B.C. Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.