Through BC Housing, the City of Campbell River and the Province are working together to create new affordable rental housing units.
The proposed apartments will be located close to Rose Harbour on Fir St.
The property is owned by BC Housing and a planned land donation by the City will add more property to the lot.
Valery Puetz, executive director of Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, says the society will manage the new building and is excited to get the ball rolling.
“We’re really grateful that BC Housing and the City of Campbell River are partnering to provide land and funding for a 50 unit apartment building we plan to build in the coming year,” Puetz says. “It will be partly for families who are in the process of changing their lives after violence and part of it will be more permanent housing with a priority to senior women.”
With a long history of operating Rose Harbor and Ann Elmore House, the society is ready to add a new development to its portfolio.
“The vacancy rate is so low and low-cost housing is barely existent for people living in poverty. This is an opportunity to provide safe and affordable housing for women and children when there isn’t other stuff available,” Puetz adds.
Since opening in 2013, Rose Harbour has always had at least 40 households on the waitlist.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s January 2020 Rental Market Report indicates that, as of October 2019, Campbell River is reported to have the lowest vacancy rate on Vancouver Island and the second-lowest in the province.
“Our vacancy rates are at an all-time low and we’re seeing rental rates rise all the time,” says Cleo Corbett, senior planner with the City of Campbell River. “People are really being squeezed. Affordable accessible housing is really hard to find, especially if you have a lower income level.”
The project is part of the Province’s 10-year, $734-million investment to build 1,500 new safe homes.
On Monday, Council will consider a housing agreement bylaw to ensure the long-term affordability of the new apartment units.
The project will then proceed to the next stage of planning and detailed design.
The City, BC Housing and the Transition Society will hold neighbourhood and community presentations to answer any questions and receive feedback once plans are prepared.