Today’s Poll

Province announces $4.5 Million in funding for new Nelson Cares housing project

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
November 17th, 2018

The provincial government was on the move this week, making announcements throughout the province regarding plans to fund 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes.

When the final microphone was unplugged, and the last MLA departed, 42 communities across British Columbia received a cash infusion as part of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund — including $4.5 Million for a new Nelson Cares project at the corner of Hall and Front Streets in Nelson.

"(The fact that) Nelson Cares has been able to attract $4.5 Million secure through the Provincial Government for 45 units for family housing is huge," BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Michelle Mungall told reporters Friday.

Mungall was present to make the announcement along with Jenny Robinson and  Ron Little of Nelson Cares.

"It's going to have a very positive impact throughout the rental market in the entire Nelson region," Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston, added.

The provincial government said the new homes are designed to address the need for affordable housing across a range of income levels, in response to a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for even middle-class families.

Much like past investments in co-op and non-profit housing, individual buildings will contain units aimed at a mix of income levels, including homes for middle-income individuals and families, deeply subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers.

“This is part of investments throughout the province to a total of $1.9 Billion over the next 10 years for affordable rental housing for seniors, families and low-income individuals as well," Mungall said.

Mungall said the Nelson Cares project is open to the general population. She said providing housing to all walks of life has been identified as the best way to create stronger communities.

“We've been sitting at a zero-vacancy rate for five years,” Mungall explained. “People are in total crisis. Everybody . . . not just poor people. Everybody in the housing community.

“This is great. This is great news.”

The Province’s new Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years, will build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for seniors, families and low- and middle-income earners, with many to include child care.

These 4,900 homes, the first set of projects selected through this fund, will include both non-profits and co-ops, and will be built over the next two to three years.

“Historically, non-profits go through hoops and hurdles developing projects, trying to get government support . . . having to go to the community as well for support,” Mungall said. “Getting that level of support is the last thing that happens and here it's the first thing.”

“So, the government is stepping up to the plate, recognizing the crisis we have in our province and saying we're ready to partner with community organizations to start the upgrade.”

No dates were announced as to when shovels will start digging.

However, a major hurdle — funding — has been overcome with Friday’s announcement.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province will provide approximately $492 million to deliver these new affordable rental homes.
  • These homes will be a mix of units for middle-, moderate- and low-income households. See the backgrounder linked below for details.
  • Projects were selected through a request for proposals, which was issued on April 18 and closed on Sept. 18, 2018. BC Housing will work with the societies to finalize the projects over the next few months.
  • Budget 2018 launched the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.

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