The Government of British Columbia and Columbia Basin Trust are partnering with Valemount Affordable Rentals Society (VARS) to provide better affordable rental housing options for students and low-income people in the Valemount region.
The Province and the Trust have helped VARS with the purchase and upcoming renovation of an eight-unit motel, located at 1295 Juniper St., which will be converted into new affordable rental housing. In addition, land directly across from the motel has been purchased for future development of more affordable rental housing.
This is the first affordable rental housing project to be funded by the agreement announced last fall between the B.C. government and the Trust, which includes a commitment of $14 million each over the next three years to create 225 new affordable rental housing units in the region.
The B.C. government and the Trust are investing a combined $220,000 in capital funding for the project. The Province is also providing interim financing of $297,000.
The Valemount Learning Society initially recognized a need for this type of housing in the community, and is partnering with the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society to operate and manage the building and serve the tenants who will be living there.
“We’re excited to partner with the Trust and the Province to increase the housing inventory for Valemount,” said Riette Kenkel, president, Valemount Affordable Rentals Society. “Our focus for phase one is student housing, and our long-term vision is to become the local resource for affordable housing in our community.”
Once rezoning and renovations are complete, people are expected to move into their units by June 2018. This will be just in time for any tenants who have signed up for summer courses at nearby Valemount College.
“We heard from Basin residents that affordable housing was a priority, and now we can move forward on our commitment to increasing its availability in our communities,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust.
Further projects to be funded under the agreement between the Province and the Trust will be approved in the coming months, and will address individual communities’ affordable rental housing needs.
Read the full news release here.