Construction will begin on 49 new affordable rental homes for families and seniors in Fernie, thanks to a partnership between the B.C. Government, Columbia Basin Trust and the Fernie Family Housing Society.

“It has been difficult for many people in B.C. to find safe, affordable housing, including areas in rural B.C.” said Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust. “These 49 new rental homes for families and seniors in Fernie will help people be able to stay in their community, close to loved ones, work, school and services they count on. Thanks to CBT and the Fernie Family Housing Society for partnering with the government to make this project a reality.”

The B.C. government said the units will be built on a vacant portion of 1301 4th Avenue for families and seniors with low to moderate incomes. The construction will include a 35-unit apartment building, 14 townhouse units and a children’s play area.

The construction marks the first time in a number of years that rental units have been built in the community.

“The 49 units represent the first purpose-built rental complex in Fernie 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. 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,” said Mayor Ange Qualizza.

The finished building will be centrally located, with nearby amenities and services. Isabella Dicken Elementary school is adjacent to the site, and Fernie Secondary school and Elk Valley Hospital are also located nearby.

The B.C. Government said residents should be moving into the building in the late fall of 2021.