VALEMOUNT - Construction is underway on 13 new affordable rental homes for seniors and families in Valemount through a partnership between the Province, the Columbia Basin Trust, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society (VARS).
"After years of inaction by the previous government, people across B.C. have had a hard time finding safe, affordable housing," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "These new homes will help keep Valemount healthy and vibrant, and make sure people can stay in their community, close to friends, family and the services they count on."
The project, located at 1295 Gordon Rd., will be a two-storey apartment building with one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The building will be managed by VARS, which has identified affordable rental housing for seniors and families as a priority in the community following a needs assessment in 2016.
"Valemount Affordable Rentals Society is extremely excited to see this project move forward," said Riette Kenkel, president, VARS. "We would like to thank our funders, our community, our consultants and our volunteers for their ongoing efforts and determination in moving this much-needed project forward. We are focused on ensuring that the construction will be completed as quickly and as smoothly as possible and look forward to adding to Valemount's affordable housing inventory."
Construction started in August 2020 and is expected to be complete by summer 2021.
"For the community of Valemount, these units represent a significant addition that will enhance the lives and well-being of many seniors and families, enabling them to affordably live in quality homes," said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust. "We thank all the partners involved and especially recognize the efforts of the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society for helping to make the Columbia Basin a viable place to live, work and play."
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The project's total capital budget is approximately $4.27 million.
- The Province provided $1.34 million to the project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided $300,000 through the Federal Bilateral Canada Community Housing Initiative Grant.
- Columbia Basin Trust provided $169,400 to the project.
- The Village of Valemount waived $25,493 in development costs.
- VARS provided the land for the project.
- Rents are projected to range from $375 to $1,250 per month:
- two units are for people with very low incomes (such as residents on income assistance): $375 to $660 per month;
- seven rent-geared-to-income units are for people with low to moderate incomes ($33,000 to $48,500): approximately $532 to $761 per month; and
- four affordable market units are for people with moderate incomes ($74,150 to $113,040): approximately $840 to $1,250 per month.
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/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector 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 23,000 new homes are completed, 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 Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for people with middle incomes
The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:
- HousingHub: 2,802 homes
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes
This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
Social housing or subsidized rents:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off- reserve
Housing for people with very low incomes
Rental housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes
Housing for students – 5,584 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
- 2,885 student housing units are also completed, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions
Total: 23,018 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing