Official ground breaking at East Trail affordable housing site on Wednesday, March 11. (Submitted photo)

Ground breaks for affordable housing in Trail

Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society will own and operate the three-storey building

Minister Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, made a visit to Trail last week for the official ground-breaking on a new affordable housing building.

Read more: New affordable housing in the works for Trail

Read more: Demolition underway at East Trail affordable housing site

“These new homes will give more people in Trail a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Conroy, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“Our government will continue to work in partnership to deliver more affordable homes for families and seniors throughout the Kootenay region.”

Construction is fully underway on nine new affordable rental homes for families and seniors in Trail through a partnership between the Government of B.C., the Columbia Basin Trust and the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society.

“The City of Trail is very pleased to see provincial investment in Trail,” said Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin.

“New homes for families and seniors are a need in our community, and we appreciate receiving funding for this worthy initiative.”

The Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society will own and operate the three-storey building, located on Columbia Avenue in East Trail.

The society is receiving $900,000 from the Province’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund, $3 million in construction financing and annual operating funding for the project.

Columbia Basin Trust is also providing a $115,300 grant for the new building.

The society also received contributions from the City of Trail, Teck Resources Ltd., and Kootenay Savings Community Foundation.

The building will provide one-, two- and three-bedroom homes for households with incomes below approximately $41,500.

It will be located overlooking the Columbia River, within easy walking distance of a full range of commercial, health and recreation services and amenities.

“Columbia Park will provide affordable rental housing for the households in greatest housing need in the region and within the City of Trail,” said Jan Morton, president, Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society.

“These are one- and two-person households (many of whom are seniors) and families, which account for 40 per cent of households in housing need in the region, more than half of whom live in Trail,” Morton added.

“The Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society wishes to thank its funders and partners: BC Housing, Columbia Basin Trust, Teck Resources Ltd. (Trail Operations), Kootenay Savings Community Foundation and DJM Contracting Ltd.”

The new homes are expected to be open by February 2021.

“Thanks to these nine units, more seniors and families in need will have a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust.

“We thank the society and Province for continuing to partner with us to address this important issue.”

This housing development is funded through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes throughout the province.

The projected rent mix for these homes will be:

– two units for people with very low incomes: approximately $375 (one bedroom) to $570 (two bedroom)

– four rent geared-to-income units (people with low to moderate incomes): approximately $483 to $650 (one bedroom) to $771 to $1,035 (three bedroom)

– three affordable market units: approximately $750 (one bedroom) to $1,170 (three bedroom)

Including these nine homes, the province is working in partnership to build more than 520 new affordable homes for people with a range of incomes in the Kootenays.

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