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New West housing project gets provincial support

Council supported the project Monday night
Aboriginal Land Trust housing complex
The Aboriginal Land Trust Society has received provincial funding to build a 96-unit apartment building at 823 to 841 Sixth St.

Well, that was quick.

Just days after an affordable housing project in New Westminster was approved by city council, the province has announced it’s one of 47 projects being supported by the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.

The provincial government has announced that more than 2,400 new affordable rental homes are coming to 39 B.C. communities for people with moderate and low incomes. The 47 new projects, selected through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, will provide about 2,455 rental homes for individuals, families, seniors, people with disabilities and Indigenous peoples throughout the province.

"Every one of the affordable homes announced today are desperately needed and will change the life course for thousands of individuals and families in the decades ahead," Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, said in a news release. "The community housing sector looks forward to working with municipal partners to ensure these new homes are built as quickly as possible."

Atkey was among the people who spoke at a May 31 public hearing in New Westminster, when city council considered an application to build a 96-unit affordable housing building at 823 to 841 Sixth St. Following a four-and-a-half-hour public hearing, council supported the application.

The project, a partnership between Aboriginal Land Trust Society and Swahili Vision International Association, will provide rental homes for members of the Indigenous and Swahili communities. It’s one of seven projects consisting of 579 homes that the Community Housing Fund is supporting in the Lower Mainland/Sunshine Coast.

Currently, no information about the amount of funding being allocated to the project is available. In an email to the Record, BC Housing stated funding has been allocated for each of these projects, but the final dollar figure for each project will be confirmed once things like the final design are confirmed and construction contracts are finalized.

According to the province’s press release, the Community Housing Fund supports mixed-income buildings. These projects have: 50% of the units for households with annual incomes up to $64,000; 30% of the units for households with incomes up to approximately $74,000; and 20% of the units for households with very low incomes, including those on income or disability assistance.

“The CHF is part of the province's 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. It is an investment of $1.9 billion to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for moderate- and low-income families and individuals over 10 years,” said the press release. “Three-and-a-half years in, more than 8,600 of these homes are already open, under construction or in development.”

In 2020, the Community Housing Fund supported 23 projects consisting of approximately 1,170 homes, said the province.

On May 31, New Westminster city council unanimously supported a zoning amendment and an official community plan amendment to for the Sixth Street properties. The sites, currently home to six single-family dwellings, will become home to a six-storey rental building.



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