RDKB Chair Roly Russell and B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson check out a townhouse in the new affordable housing complex built in Grand Forks off 19th Street, south of Dick Bartlett Park. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Grand Forks affordable housing units ready for occupancy

Tenants may begin moving in by early November

Dick Bartlett Park will soon be getting new neighbours, as tenants are expected to move in to the 52 units at the affordable housing complex off of 19th Avenue in Grand Forks by early November.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson was joined by local politicians and stakeholders to tour the new residences which were funded through a $5.2 million provincial investment. In addition to cost investment, the province will be kicking in $670,000 annually for operations of the buildings, according to a release.

“We are in a crisis, a housing crisis that stretches right across the province in every community, not just urban, but certainly rural British Columbia too, we’ve been hearing that for some time,” said Robinson, who was on a trip through the Interior to celebrate the opening of other housing projects in the region as well.

The new homes will provide affordable housing for people across a range of income levels. Monthly rental rates will range between $375 for one-bedroom units and $1,150 for three-bedroom units, according to a release from the ministry.

“These new homes will make a profound difference in the spirits of the people who will live here and provide a hopeful feeling for all of Grand Forks that we can confront and successfully move past adverse circumstances,” said Ron Liddle, a representative from the Boundary Family Services Society. “There are lots of details yet to be attended to, but Boundary Family Services and BC Housing intend to work determinedly to have 52 families soon enjoying their new homes on 19th Street.”

Though landscaping is not complete between the three-story apartments and the fence line of the development’s neighbours at Brycen Place, the interiors of all the units are complete. Standard grey walls merge with dark brown floors in the two and three-bedroom apartments. Meanwhile, accessible units offer open-concept washrooms with no ledges between the shower and toilet/sink area, allowing users to maneuver freely.

While many of the units are snug – townhouses feature narrow hallways past the kitchen, leading to the stairs to the upper floor – there are plenty of windows to allow for natural light.

The buildings were built by Calgary-based company Horizon North, through their assembly facility in Kamloops. Joe Kiss, the company’s president of modular construction, said that it took about nine months for the project to go from contract, to design and finally to completion in September. Now, the company’s crew will turn its attention to the landscaping around the buildings.

“I see them building this into something that is really going to be something that the city will be proud of over time,” said Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor, about his hope for the new residents of 6895 19th St.

Just under a third of units will be for middle-income households, with annual incomes up to approximately $107,000. Half will be set aside for a range of low- to moderate-income households with annual incomes below the housing income limits, ranging from $21,000 to $96,000. (Housing income limits represent the income needed to pay the average market rent in a specific community). The remaining 20 per cent of the units will be for households with low incomes, which are up to $30,000 annually.


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Russell selected as B.C. NDP candidate for Boundary-Similkameen

The director for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was chosen over Oliver councillor Grice.

Education ministry’s COVID plan could do more for SD51, says teachers’ union president

There have been no confirmed COVID cases two weeks into school year

Midway council meeting cancelled after most councillors unable to attend

Councillors gave advance notice, meeting cancelled ahead of schedule

Vanessa Chartier to host all candidates forum at MacArthur Centre

Voters can watch the forum on Facebook Live

Greenwood Board of Trade to hold public meeting at City Hall

The board is seeking input on its proposed all candidates meeting ahead of the city’s byelection next month

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Province’s response to old growth forest report falls short, says Nelson scientist

Rachel Holt says province is saving areas that don’t need protection, ignoring those that do

Most Read