October 28, 2020
The sound of a table saw echoes up and over the evergreen forests of Cortes Island. Concrete spews into foundation moulds. A crane lifts a locally pre-made wooden wall and lowers it into place.
" We are ahead of schedule. Right from the get-go, I think everyone has been interested in the project on a personal level. And so, that shows in how this project is coming together,” said George Gabara, Superintendent, Kinetic Construction."
In May 2020, construction started on four 650-quare foot, one-bedroom cottages on Cortes Island. The cottages will soon be affordable rental homes for seniors.
“The new cottages are really sweet,” said Sandra Wood, Housing Project Coordinator, Cortes Island Seniors Society. “They're small, cozy, and sharing a courtyard garden with our existing six cottages.”
“I have been happier here than anywhere I have lived for the last 30 years. My visitors from home and abroad take back ideas from the Cortes Seniors Village. It's a little paradise for us elderly,” said Valerie Robinson, a current resident.
The Cortes Island Seniors Village provides accessible homes for low- to moderate-income seniors. Located at 951 Beasley Road, the housing project consists of one-level, wood framed cottages. Six are already in place. The two new cabins and a new duplex mean four more seniors will soon have a place to call home.
The homes are rent-geared-to-income. This means 30 per cent of a tenant’s income goes towards rent. Rents average about $535 per month depending on the resident’s actual income.
The multi-coloured cottages are made up of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living and dining area, and outdoor patio with an accessible exterior locker for extra storage. The central courtyard and garden, along with the quiet forested setting, offer the tranquility of nature. All within easy walking distance to the Health Centre, Museum, Community Hall and shops in Mansons Landing.
" We can create a sustainable community that is resilient, and everyone can be proud of. That’s what we are building and creating together,” said Wood.
The Cortes Island Seniors Society owns and operates the buildings. The Province of BC gave a grant of $400,000 from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund for the four new cottages, and about $1 million in construction financing and annual operating funds from BC Housing. The society gave the land and $100,000 cash from donations from the Cortes community and other funders.
The four new cottages should be finished by the end of 2020. Seniors will move into their homes in early 2021.http://ourcortes.com/our-cortes/services-and-local-societies/cortes-island-seniors-society/
Photos of Doug Butt & Valerie Robinson by www.darshanphotography.com