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Cash shortfall of $3.2 million solved on homelessness project

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
January 6th, 2011

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

The Canadian Mental Health Association-Kootenays will be calling on other funding sources to cover the $3.2 million still needed to fill the ledger for the $7 million supportive housing project recently approved for Nelson, says the association’s executive director.

Janice Ivan said there will be forthcoming announcements on the Anderson Street project for Nelson’s homeless, one day after revealing Tuesday a major $3.8 million sum will come from BC Housing.

However, although the money for the entire project has been secured, she could not say at the time who the other contributors were.

“There are definitely other partners, and more recently there has been an add-on to the partners, but until the parties that be are prepared to make an announcement I can’t respond to that,” she said, noting CMHA-K will contribute $250,000 as well. “But this is the same project, even though costs have fluctuated.”

The approval and $3.8 million in capital to build a 33-unit project to support people in Nelson who are at risk of homelessness came after several months of discussions between the Province, the City of Nelson and the CMHA-K — who will manage and operate the development.

Ivan confirmed the project is still expected to achieve a LEED gold standard design and could take one year to complete. Once finished, the 33 apartment style units would be 430 square feet of private space with a large bathroom and shower, a small kitchen, a living room and a storage space.

The three-storey building would include a dining room for residents as well as other supportive services.

The anticipation is to begin the project as soon as the ground thaws in spring. The City does not have to re-approve the plans, she said, nor will there be a public process on the development, but the design will need to reviewed and updated, said Ivan.

She said there are meetings happening this month with the CMHA-K development team and the funding partners to hammer out what has to happen to get the construction going, as well as complete an operational plan.

Although the need and poverty has continued to grow across the Kootenays since the project was first drawn up seven years ago, Ivan cautioned people against calling the CMHA-K about getting on a list for a unit.

“The way this type of housing goes, there isn’t a hard copy application people fill out,” she said. “It is all done centrally through the Housing Registry. People aren’t eligible unless they apply through the Housing Registry.”

People are then screened through that process. Three months before “rent up” and the completion of the project, CMHA-K will have a clear marketing plan and advertise everywhere in Nelson for people to apply to the Housing Registry.

CMHA–Kootenays is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and promoted the mental health of all people through the provision of services, programming, advocacy and public education.


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