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Ground breaks on housing development in Fruitvale

Construction is expected to be complete in two years
Rendering of the Fruitvale housing development project. Image:

Ground officially broke in Fruitvale on Friday — making way for the construction of a 31-unit housing complex.

Located at the site of the former Beaver Valley Middle School, the new development will provide a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units for individuals, families, seniors and people living with disabilities.

“Fruitvale is so excited to see this partnership between the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society, BC Housing, the Village of Fruitvale, and financial supporters such as Columbia Basin Trust come to fruition with the start of construction,” Mayor Steve Morissette said in a Friday release.

“This new 31-unit housing complex in the heart of our village will serve persons with disabilities, singles, families and seniors, providing badly needed housing in our valley.”

On the same property is the new Beaver Valley Child Care Centre, which Morrisette told the Times in an earlier interview, is coming along well and scheduled to open early next year.

The Beaver Valley Child Care Centre will add 37 spaces and help meet the need for child care in the Beaver Valley. Photo: Steve Morissette

He clarified that Fruitvale owns the daycare building, and is leasing it to an operator, the Beaver Valley Nursery School.

As well, the village is leasing the land of the new housing development to the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society (Society) at a nominal rate.

The Society will be managing the 31 units.

Construction is expected to be complete in two years.

Through BC Housing, the province is investing $3.5 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide annual operational funds.

Columbia Basin Trust is providing a grant nearing $750,000.

“We know that housing is essential for healthy and resilient communities, and it remains a focus for the trust to support communities, such as Rossland and Fruitvale, to ensure residents have access to affordable housing that meets their needs,” Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust, said Friday.

These projects are a testament to the power of community spirit and collaboration, and to the leadership of the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society, he said.

“Congratulations to the new and future community members who will call these developments home.”

About the build

The Society is developing 31 units of mixed income rental housing as a key element of a plan to redevelop the 10 acre school site. It’s within walking distance from the village core, the elementary school, recreation facilities, and on a transit route. The master plan for the site includes both market and non-market housing, the childcare centre and other community amenities.

The Society notes this affordable rental housing will be well-positioned to serve a range of demographics, including young families, low-income seniors, and single-person households.

It will also seek to provide an inclusive community as three of the units will be rented to adults with developmental disabilities who are able to live more independently.

“The accessibility of shared spaces will allow people of all abilities to participate in community life together,” the Society notes.

With funding commitments already provided by BC Housing, Columbia Basin Trust and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, tenancy is slated for late 2025.

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Sheri Regnier

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