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‘A dream come true’: Seniors move into affordable rental homes on Quadra Island

In an era of low vacancy rates, seniors living on Quadra Island now have more affordable rental home options with the opening of a new independent-living apartment building. 

Located at 688 Harper Rd., next to Q-Cove Plaza, residents started moving into the one-storey building last month. It features 16 one-bedroom suites, including four accessible units, being rented for $715 per month.

According to Strathcona Regional District Electoral Area C director, Jim Abram, the new building is a ‘significant step’ toward easing the housing burden on local seniors.

“The need for seniors housing was identified in the Housing Needs Report completed in 2018, with seniors disproportionately residing in housing in need of major repairs and concerned about their ability to ‘age in place’ on Quadra Island,” Abram said.

The building is owned and operated by Quadra Island Seniors Housing Society (QISHS), and all units are adaptable, allowing for the suites to be easily and inexpensively modified to meet residents’ future needs, the Province said in a release.

A caretaker will live on site, with hospitality services, such as meals and housekeeping, provided to residents by the Quadra Circle Community Connections Society, upon request.

“For Quadra seniors, their families and friends, this is a dream come true,” said QISHS president, Maureen McDowell.

Similar to Abram, she tells My Campbell River Now that the building comes at a time when available rental housing is scarce, especially for seniors.

McDowell continued, “We are so grateful for the partnership with BC Housing and the support of the Strathcona Regional District. BC Housing’s financial contribution enabled our island community of under 3,000 people to build this much-needed affordable housing in only four years.”

The Province, through BC Housing, provided $6 million to the project, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is contributing around $475,000, and QISHS provided the land.

As well, McDowell said community cash and in-kind donations helped create a ‘comfortable home’ where seniors can age-in-place in the walk-able village centre.

“This project took time and effort to come to fruition and because of that, more affordable, safe and accessible homes are available in the community,” added North Island MLA, Michele Babchuk. “I want to thank everyone who worked so hard for so long to make this project possible and look forward to the positive impact this will have.”

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