Teardown of the former McBride Manor began on Thursday. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Demolition signals start of affordable housing complex in Trail

Project was spearheaded by the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society

It’s out with the old house and in with a new housing complex – by fall 2020 – on a East Trail property.

The former McBride Manor, located on the 1200 block of Columbia Avenue, was torn down over the last several days, making way for construction of a new multi-family affordable housing building.

“With the house demolished, DJM Contracting will begin almost immediately with excavation and site preparation,” says Jan Morton, chair of the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society. “They have assured us they have the means to lay the foundation and begin construction, even during winter.”

Read more: New affordable housing in the works for East Trail

Read more: $900k grant paves the way for Trail development

Morton says getting to this stage was a little slower than anticipated, mainly due to certain design tweaks that were required to meet the energy efficiency requirements of BC Housing.

“It’s been worth the wait as greater energy efficiency will mean lower utility bills for the tenants,” she added.

“We expect to start taking a waiting list starting this spring, and we are now expecting occupancy in the fall of 2020.”

In November 2018, the society received a $900,000 grant from BC Housing to build a new structure in Trail that would house both low income seniors and low income families.

The plan is to build a complex comprised of four one-bedroom units, three two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units.

Earlier this year, Trail council gave a nod of approval to the project by re-zoning the property to “R5” or Small Multiple Family Residential.

The prior zoning permitted for a rest home of up to 10 boarders, or housing for seniors. Because the new development will not be limited to seniors, a rezoning of the lot was required.

As part of the society’s application to amend the zoning bylaw to make way for a new build, a public hearing was required.

At that meeting, Morton touched on who the future renter would be.

“In housing there is a continuum, ranging from one end which is emergency shelter, to the other end, which is fully private housing,” she explained.

“We are pretty close to the middle. So we will be bringing in people who are low income by various standards, but they are people who do not need supports to live stable lives.”

She also clarified that a tenant services coordinator would assist the board with selecting renters, and she emphasized the build would be solid construction and kept in good condition.


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The former McBride Manor, located on the 1200 block of Columbia Avenue, was torn down over the last several days Norman Moll photo

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