Construction on 49 new affordable rental homes for seniors and families has begun in Fernie.
The project was made possible through a partnership between the Fernie Family Housing Society, the Province of BC, and the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).
“The mission of the Fernie Family Housing Society is strengthening the community by enhancing access for residents to safe and affordable housing”, said Jill Gilhuly, board member of the Fernie Family Housing Society.
“With the support of our funding providers, BC Housing and the Columbia Basin Trust, we are pleased to be moving closer to providing new rental housing options for residents of Fernie.”
The project includes 14 townhouse units, a 35 unit apartment, and a children’s play area for families and seniors with low to moderate incomes.
According to Fernie mayor, Ange Qualizza, the units are Fernie’s first purpose-built rental complex in 20 years.
“The project addresses specific needs identified in the 2017 City of Fernie/West Fernie Affordable Housing Strategy, and the location is ideal for families with children,” said Qualizza.
“The city is pleased to support initiatives that promote multi-family housing, active transportation and affordability as part of our commitment to a healthy and resilient community.”
Centrally located at 1301 Fourth Avenue, the homes will be next to Ecole Isabella Dicken Elementary School and Fernie Secondary School, and in proximity to a number of amenities and services including the Elk Valley Hospital.
With affordable housing being a priority of the government, the Province of BC is providing $1.4 million from the Building BC: Community Housing fund, as well as $17,000 in annual operating funding for the construction of the 14 townhouses.
The apartment building is being funded by a combined $4.6 million grant from the CBT and the Province of BC. Rent for the apartment units is estimated to range from $770 for one bedroom to $1,500 for three bedrooms. The townhouses are expected to go for $600 to $1,400 for a two bedroom and $690 to $1,600 for a three bedroom.
Residents are expected to be able to move into the building in late fall 2021.
For more information on what the Province of BC is doing to handle the housing crisis, visit Workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/.