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New affordable rental homes open in Merritt

November 7, 2022 at 8:34 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Families, seniors and individuals in Merritt are moving into affordable new rental homes as the doors open on a 75-unit apartment project.

“These new units will have a very positive impact in Merritt, delivering safe and affordable homes for families, seniors, and others in the community,” said Murray Rankin, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “Housing developments like this will help communities like Merritt continue to grow and contribute to a stronger rural B.C.” 

Located at 4010 Walters St., the four-storey apartment building has a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, including eight accessible units. Residents have access to a shared amenity space, which includes a gym, three common rooms, and a barbecue area outside. The development has 120 parking spots.

Monthly rents range from $1,020 for a studio to $2,380 for a three-bedroom apartment.

The project is being built in partnership with Olympic Villas Inc. through BC Housing’s HousingHub program. HousingHub was created in 2018 and works with communities and non-profit and private-sector developers to increase the supply of rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians.

The Province does not directly fund HousingHub projects. Instead, the Province makes low-cost financing available to developers to build new housing. Through HousingHub, developers receive loans with lower interest rates than would otherwise be available. The developers commit to pass construction-cost savings on to prospective tenants and homeowners through more affordable rents and ownership opportunities.

The Province provided approximately $16.6 million in low-interest financing for this project, which will be repaid with interest by Olympic Villas Inc.

“Housing represents the quality of life, which determines the level of satisfaction and happiness in our lives,” said Irfan Sonawala, director, Olympic Villas Inc. “We have built with amenities and construction quality to create such happy memories beyond essential housing. This building is targeted to attract professionals and entrepreneurs who play key role in the growth of smaller towns to economical hubs. We are appreciative for the HousingHub program that goes beyond essential affordable housing to quality housing at market rents that make such remote development possible.”

The project is located at the centre of Merritt’s new uptown development and is near a hospital, schools and other community services.

“The City of Merritt is very pleased to have 75 new housing units available for present and future residents,” says Mike Goetz, mayor of Merritt. “The city of Merritt has historically low vacancy rates and new housing is very much in demand. We are grateful to add these new units to our housing supply and continue to invite developers to help grow our community.”

Residents are expected to start moving into their new homes later this month.

This project is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 36,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 160 homes in Merritt.

Learn More:

For more information about HousingHub, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AG0025-000720

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

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