New affordable homes opening for families, seniors in Grand Forks


October 4, 2019

GRAND FORKS – The Province is delivering new homes for people in Grand Forks with 52 new, affordable rental homes opening in the community.

“Our goal was to get these homes built as soon as possible to support the community’s long-term recovery efforts after the devastating flooding, so I am proud to see the project finishing only a year after it was announced,” said Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We know this has been a difficult time for the community, which is why we worked together with the City of Grand Forks, Boundary Family Services and Horizon North to fast-track these safe, affordable homes for people.”

Located at 6895 19th St., residents are expected to start moving into their one-, two- and three-bedroom homes in early November.

The new homes will provide affordable housing for people across a range of income levels. Monthly rental rates will range between $375 for one-bedroom units and $1,150 for three-bedroom units.

Horizon North built the three-storey apartment building and two-storey townhouses using modular construction technology, which allowed the project to be built quicker than if it was built using traditional concrete or stick-built construction.

Boundary Family Services will operate the project. In partnership with BC Housing, the society will start selecting tenants in the coming weeks.

This project is part of more than 22,000 new homes completed or underway throughout B.C. because of provincial investments, including more than 5,000 homes in mixed-income buildings through the Community Housing Fund.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Brian Taylor, mayor, City of Grand Forks –
"Grand Forks already faced an affordable housing shortage before last year’s floods. BC Housing recognized the urgency of accommodating flood-impacted residents, both owners and renters, in addition to those already struggling to find affordable housing, and was able to prioritize this project with the support of Grand Forks Council."

Ron Liddle, board chair, Boundary Family Services –
“Boundary Family Services is pleased work with BC Housing managing much-needed affordable housing in Grand Forks. These new homes will make a profound difference in the spirits of the people who will live here and provide a hopeful feeling for all of Grand Forks that we can confront and successfully move past adverse circumstances. There are lots of details yet to be attended to, but Boundary Family Services and BC Housing intend to work determinedly to have 52 families soon enjoying their new homes on 19th Street.”

Rod Graham, president and chief executive officer, Horizon North –
“Expediency is key in addressing these situations and making life better for those who need it. My family’s home was destroyed in the Calgary floods six years ago, so I understand that nothing can completely replace the possessions and memories that the people of Grand Forks have lost. However, it is our hope that the ability to provide a high-quality solution as quickly as possible using modular construction allows those affected to continue their recovery with a solid foundation, a place to call home again.”

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/

Two backgrounders follow.

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-2433

Laura Mathews
BC Housing
604 439-8571

BACKGROUNDER

Community Housing Fund makes homes more affordable

The B.C. government provided $5.2 million for this project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, which is a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes throughout the province. Nearly 5,200 of these homes are in development and under construction.

  • The Province is also providing approximately $670,000 in annual operating funding to make these homes more affordable.
  • Projects built under the Community Housing Fund will reflect the following mix of incomes:
    • 30% of the units will be for middle-income households, with annual incomes up to approximately $107,000.
    • 50% of the units will be for a range of low- to moderate-income households with annual incomes below the housing income limits, ranging from $21,000 to $96,000. (Housing income limits represent the income needed to pay the average market rent in a specific community).
    • 20% of the units will be for households with low incomes, which are up to $30,000 annually.
  • The monthly rental rates for this project are:
    • Eleven units for people with low incomes (i.e., seniors on fixed incomes and people receiving income assistance): $375 (one-bedroom) to $660 (three-bedroom).
    • Twenty-six rent geared to income units (people with low to moderate incomes): $420 (one-bedroom) to $660 (three-bedroom).
    • Fifteen middle-income units: $825 (one-bedroom) to $1,150 (three-bedroom).

 

BACKGROUNDER 2

Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.

Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live — from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) - approximately 4,120 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
  • HousingHub: approximately 2,620 homes.

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) - approximately 9,320 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) - more than 3,060 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: nearly 800 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.

Housing for women and children leaving violence - approximately 360 homes:

  • Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 spaces of transition,
  • second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.

Housing for students - approximately 5,600 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
  • Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

Total: approximately 22,460 homes

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-2433

Laura Mathews
BC Housing
604 439-8571