The Elkford Housing Society (EHS) has secured a $500,000 grant from the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) for its seniors’ housing project after a nearly $2.5 million funding shortfall delayed the original spring 2021 construction start date.
The EHS seeks the creation of Elkford’s “first seniors’ housing facility,” and is the founding project of the society which was established in 2018, according to a Dec. 8 letter from the not-for-profit’s chair, Duncan McDonald, addressed to RDEK Electoral Area A director, Mike Sosnowski.
“As Elkford grows, our community is experiencing a severe housing shortage that affects our workforce, families and seniors. Today, we’re asking for your help as we strive to resolve part of this problem.”
According to McDonald’s letter, the initial estimated value of the project was around $9.3 million, but that blew out to $11.5 million after design revisions and rising costs of materials due to the pandemic.
The increase in costs led to a funding shortfall of about $2.5 million, McDonald wrote, forcing a delay in the construction start date.
“But this setback has not discouraged us. Instead, we are using this time to call upon our community for support and refocus our efforts on finding further funding assistance.”
In response, the RDEK board of directors voted in favour of providing a grant of $500,000 to the EHS for the seniors’ housing project. The money will come from Electoral Area A’s portion of the Elk Valley Property Tax Sharing Agreement funds.
The additional funding will assist the Elkford Housing Society to obtain a mortgage and solicit further grant funding from other sources.