Affordable housing initiative breaks ground in Salmo
Construction for a new 28-unit affordable housing development for families and seniors broke ground today in Salmo, thanks to funding by the governments of Canada and British Columbia and Columbia Basin Trust.
“Our government is investing in affordable housing in British Columbia and across the country to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for people who need it most. When complete, this new development will bring 28 more affordable rental housing units to Salmo, a new place to call home for seniors and families in this community,” said David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development.
“We remain focussed on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security.”
“The province is committed to creating new affordable housing options for families and seniors in smaller communities like Salmo,” said the Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing. “We’re thankful to our community partners, Columbia Basin Trust and Salmo and Area Supportive Housing Society, for helping to make this new affordable housing a reality for individuals in the community.”
The governments of Canada and B.C will provide a combined investment of $1,296,000 through the Affordable Rental Housing Initiative, under the Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement. Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is contributing $1,296,000. In addition, the Government of B.C. will provide interim construction financing of nearly $2.6 million. The Salmo and Area Supportive Housing Society will provide the land valued at approximately $106,000 and equity of nearly $42,500.
“I admire the determination and perseverance of the community of Salmo who are now witnessing a great idea materialize into a modern building to house families and seniors,” said Neil Muth, president and chief executive officer, Columbia Basin Trust.
“This initiative is a key part of improving the well-being of residents in the Columbia Basin and CBT is proud to work with the Salmo and Area Supportive Housing Society in partnership with the federal and provincial governments to improve housing options for local residents.”
Located at 730 Railway Ave. in Salmo, the new affordable housing site will consist of 20 apartments for seniors and eight townhouses for families. The development will be owned and operated by Salmo and Area Supportive Housing Society.
“This project has been 25 years in the making for our society, and today’s groundbreaking marks a milestone for us and this community,” said Phil Berukoff, chair and executive director, Salmo and Area Supportive Housing Society. “We’d like to express our greatest appreciation to the Government of Canada, Province of B.C. and Columbia Basin Trust for providing the funding for this project. I’d also like to acknowledge our community for supporting this project from the beginning, helping us bring more affordable housing to Salmo.”
The Affordable Housing Rental Initiative is a component of the $180-million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, which was announced in July 2011. With a combined contribution of $5 million from both levels of government over three years, this investment helps to support new affordable rental housing projects in communities across the Columbia Basin.
Through a separate funding agreement with the province, Columbia Basin Trust is contributing a further $5 million to this initiative.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In British Columbia, this represents an estimated 68,050 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH). These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.
Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour.
More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1 800 668-2642 or visit: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested $3.6 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 98,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To find out more, visit: www.bchousing.org
One of CBT’s strategic priorities is to assist Columbia Basin communities in effectively dealing with affordable housing issues and to support new housing initiatives. CBT has helped communities plan affordable housing projects, provided capital grants to projects and shares information on affordable housing issues. CBT delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, call 1 800 505- 8998 or visit: www.cbt.org