12 new affordable housing units have been unveiled through a partnership between the Kimberley Seniors Project Society, Columbia Basin Trust, and the Provincial and Federal Government.
The building, named New Pioneer Lodge, was completed in November but was officially announced on Friday. It includes six two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units for low-income families in the area.
The Kimberley Seniors Project Society said that all 12 units have been filled since the building has been opened. One unit has also been fitted to adapt to the needs of its occupant.
“We’ve had a waiting list for a long time before we were complete,” said Rick Rausch, Kimberley Seniors Project Society president. “We have one adaptable unit which a young lady that was hurt in a horrible car accident three months ago lives in. We’ve adapted that so she has a bath lift and a lot of assist functions for her.”
The construction cost is estimated at around $2.5 million and took less than a year to finish, according to Rausch.
The process to get to this point came with some challenges, however. Mayor Don Mccormick said that while construction was relatively fast, approval took nearly 15.
“When funding opportunities are made available, they have a limited timeline, they only have so much money and they tend to be oversubscribed. The Society went through three or four applications that got rejected. Not because it’s not a good project, but because they were just too far down the priority list,” explained McCormick. “To their credit, they stuck at it and three and a half years ago, their submission was approved.”
The building, located on Church Avenue, replaced a pair of dilapidated buildings with newer, modern ones.
“There were two four-plexes there that were in a complete state of disrepair, nobody could even live in them anymore,” said McCormick. “This project not only provided a dozen new affordable units, but it completely revitalized the area.”
Rausch added that the community has been supportive of the project through to its completion.
“The City of Kimberley has been great, we have had donations from the Elk’s Club, Lion’s Club, things like that, for special things we wanted to do,” said Rausch.
Moving forward, McCormick said that the Kimberley Seniors Project Society and the Lion’s Club have taken over property management for the building.