New affordable homes on the way in Queen Charlotte
QUEEN CHARLOTTE – Families and seniors with lower incomes will soon have access to new, affordable rental homes, with construction underway on a four-unit housing project in the community.
The project is the result of a partnership between the Province, the Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society, the Gwaii Trust Society, M’akola Development Services and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA).
“Everyone deserves a safe, secure and affordable home and this project is another step forward in delivering housing for people on Haida Gwaii,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Thank you to all of the partners who are working to get this much-needed housing built as quickly as possible.”
Located at 302 2nd Ave., the property is owned by the Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society. The property was rezoned in 2018 to allow for the conversion of an office building into four rental homes.
“The Village of Queen Charlotte council and staff would like to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in helping ensure our community has access to affordable housing,” said Kris Olsen, mayor, Village of Queen Charlotte.
The society is receiving $1.2 million from the Province’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund – a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 rental homes for low- to moderate-income families and seniors throughout the province. M’akola Development Service and AHMA also contributed equity funding to the project.
Construction started in spring 2020 but stopped for approximately one month due to concerns about COVID-19. Work on the project has resumed and is expected to be complete by the end of August 2020.
Monthly rents for the new homes will range from $375 for one bedroom and $570 for two bedrooms.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Greg Martin, chair, Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society –
“We are very pleased that BC Housing and M’akola are supporting our townhouse development in Queen Charlotte. Affordable housing is in very short supply here on Haida Gwaii and this project will help those who need it most. Many thanks to Minister Selina Robinson, MLA Jen Rice, BC Housing and M’akola for making this a reality.”
Kevin Albers, CEO, M’akola Development Services –
“M’akola is proud to help support this project that will enhance the lives of families and seniors in the community. Projects like this are a step in the right direction of addressing the importance and need for affordable housing in all communities across British Columbia.”
Margaret Pfoh, CEO, AHMA –
“AHMA is honoured to be part of this new project with our members at M’akola Group of Societies, Queen Charlotte Heritage Housing Society and the Province. This development is more than just roofs over heads. It brings us closer to truly alleviating the housing challenges that our province’s most vulnerable communities face. We know it will bring positive and meaningful change for the future residents, and AHMA looks forward to welcoming them to our community.”
- Including these homes, the Province is working in partnership to build nearly 50 new affordable homes for people on Haida Gwaii:
- four homes for families and seniors
- 24 on-reserve homes for Indigenous peoples, in partnership with Skidegate Band Council
- 19 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness (modular housing project on Oceanview Drive)
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 23,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live, from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for people with middle incomes
The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes
This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) –9,837 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Social housing or subsidized rents:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes.
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
Housing for people with very low incomes
Rental housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes.
Housing for students – 5,584 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process.
- 2,885 student housing units are also complete, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Total: 23,018 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect