Kaslo and New Denver will every obtain $ 1 million in inexpensive housing from BC Housing – Nelson Star

Nonprofit housing companies in Kaslo and New Denver each have received provincial grants to build $ 3.5 million affordable rental buildings.

The New Denver and Kaslo projects will each receive over $ 1 million from BC Housing, with the remainder to be raised through other funders including the Columbia Basin Trust and loan funding.

“The board of directors of the Kaslo Housing Society is more than grateful, happy, nervous and determined,” said society chairwoman Erica Bird of the announcement. “There were also a few tears and, for me, a phase of hyperventilating.”

She says it is very clear that there is a great need for more low-income housing in Kaslo.

“Nobody advertises rentals anymore because they only publish it once, and at the end of the day you have your choice of people. Living has become an investment and no longer for the security of the formerly small rental houses all over Kaslo. “

The three-story, 10-unit half-timbered building to be constructed in downtown Kaslo will be known as Penny Lane Apartments. There will be a mix of housing types and subsidy levels.

A three-room apartment and two two-room apartments are available for families.

For the five one-room apartments and two studio apartments, the company expects to attract low-income individuals and couples, senior citizens and people with disabilities who can live independently. Two of the ground floor units will be wheelchair accessible.

Two of the units will receive a substantial grant, five will be income-based rents and three of the apartments will be rented out at market prices.

Bird says it has been a long way to find the two crucial things the housing company has been looking for since 1998: funding and a downtown location.

The community will sell a piece of land to society “at a nominal price,” in what Bird calls the perfect place.

“It’s only a block or two from the bank, the grocery store, everything. You don’t even need a car, there is a good connection and everything is within walking distance. “

Celebrate the Good News, LR: Kaslo Village CAO Ian Dunlop, Mayor Suzan Hewat, RDCK Area D Director Aimee Watson, and Kaslo Housing Society Chairperson Erica Bird. Photo: Submitted

The site is behind the Kemball Memorial Center and covers an area of ​​approximately 7,500 square kilometers. It is adjacent to A Avenue and Penny Lane.

The Kaslo Housing Society will be the operator of the building. Construction begins in November with a completion date in early 2023. Bird says the company is not taking applications yet, but will be putting a waiting list soon.

The developer of the project is New Commons Development, based in Toronto and Vancouver, a non-profit real estate development company that builds affordable housing. The company postponed its fees for housing associations Kaslo and New Denver until provincial grants came in.

Jan McMurray of the New Denver and Area Housing Society acknowledges Bird’s relief over the grant and the urgency of the rental market.

“Everything is bought,” she says. “We have never had many rentals, but (but now) there are simply no rentals at all. Residents who have rented the houses have been sold and they have nowhere to go. “

McMurray is delighted that the two neighboring communities will be embarking on similar projects.

“It’s just so exciting to have so much success so quickly,” says McMurray, referring to the relatively young founding of the New Denver Society in 2018.

The $ 3.5 million residential project in New Denver will also consist of 10 units – studio apartments and two- and three-bedroom units that cater to different incomes and subsidy levels, some of which will be rented out at market prices . Some are offered to seniors living independently.

The building will be at 602 Slocan Ave. built on property in the village of New Denver.

“People come up to us and ask if they can get on the waiting list,” says McMurray, “but we are far from ready to take people’s names.”

The two projects are among 47 similar projects for a total of 2,455 residential units recently announced by the provincial government.

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