A list of local dignitaries from Nelson Mayor John Dooley to Nelson-Creston MLA to members of Nelson Cares Society and Columbia Basin Trush joined together Wednesday afternoon in Fairview to toast the new four-storey affordable housing building, Lakeside Place.
The former site of the Lakeside Motel at 805 Nelson Avenue, located near Highway 3A and the Big Orange Bridge in Nelson, will soon give way to 47 new affordable homes for seniors, adults with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness in the Heritage City.
“To do well in life, people need a place to call home, and we are making sure that more people in our community have that today,” said Mungall, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
“These new homes will provide safe, secure and affordable housing for people in our community. Our government would like to thank our community partners who have worked so hard to make this project possible.”
Also present were Ron Little of Nelson CARES Society, Chuck Bennett, of Nelson CARES Society, Nelson CARES Society Executive Director Jenny Robinson, Nelson City Councillors Keith Page, Rik Logtenberg and Jesse Woodward, Johnny Strilaeff, president and chief executive officer, Columbia Basin Trust and Jocelyn Carver of the Columbia Basin Trust as well as members of the Indigenous community who opened the ceremony.
The new facility will be shared by seniors and adults with disabilities and another five units for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
The building will have laundry facilities, an amenity room with a residential kitchen and office space for Nelson CARES Society Kootenay Seniors program. The motel was demolished in 2018.
“I would like to thank Nelson CARES, the Province of British Columbia and Columbia Basin Trust for bringing this much-needed project to our community,” said Nelson Mayor Dooley.
“Nelson has experienced a near 0% vacancy rate for several years, and we are hopeful that projects such as this will free up housing units in our community, while providing affordable accommodation for our seniors and persons living with disabilities.”
Nelson CARES Society provided the land for the project and will own and operate the building once it is complete.
The society also operates an adjacent eight-unit building to serve people at risk of homelessness and will connect residents at both sites to supports in the community.
The Province provided $8.6 million for the project, as well as construction financing. Columbia Basin Trust provided a grant of $200,000 for the development of the project.
“One of our priorities is to help people in the Columbia Basin access affordable housing that meets their basic needs,” said Johnny Strilaeff President and CEO of the Columbia Basin Trust.
“Through strong partnerships, this project will bring more affordable rental housing options to Nelson residents, strengthening the quality of life in the community.”
Construction began in September 2019 and is scheduled to be completed by late 2020.
In partnership with the City of Nelson, a large outdoor space is proposed on the east side of the building, providing outdoor space for residents and the larger community.
“We are grateful to our funding partners and to see this project underway,” said Jenny Robinson, executive director, Nelson CARES Society.
“This new housing is desperately needed and will bring relief to many in the community.”
- The project will include 36 one-bedroom, six two-bedroom and five studio units, for a total of 47 homes.
In addition to these 47 homes, the Province is working in partnership to build nearly 300 new affordable homes in the Kootenays, including:
- Community Housing Fund: 122 affordable rental homes for individuals, families and seniors
- Indigenous Housing Fund: 52 units of social housing for Indigenous peoples
- Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 15 affordable rental housing units for women and children leaving violence
- Oct. 13-19 is Homelessness Action Week, where communities throughout the province participate to increase awareness of homelessness in B.C. and encourage people to get involved with local organizations to find solutions.
- To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.'s housing market and helping build 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
People from the Indigenous community opened Wednesday's ceremony. — The Nelson Daily photo
Construction has commenced on the $8.6 million housing project. — The Nelson Daily photo