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Province preserves affordable housing for vulnerable people in Kamloops

July 10, 2023 at 11:01 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The Province has partnered with Ask Wellness Society to preserve 24 units of affordable housing for people transitioning out of homelessness in Kamloops.

“With this purchase, we are making sure that more vulnerable people in Kamloops transitioning to permanent housing continue to have affordable options to rely on,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Our government will continue to explore creative avenues like this to build on our commitment to boost the supply of safe and secure housing that meet the needs of people in Kamloops and in communities across British Columbia.”

The Province, through BC Housing, has provided approximately $2.5 million to the Ask Wellness Society to finance the purchase of the Columbia Motor Inn at 575 Columbia St. The former motel has been a crucial part of the housing system in Kamloops since 2018, providing subsidized units for people who are transitioning from shelters or supportive housing and who are able to live independently. The motel is a two-storey wood-frame building with 24 self-contained studio units, a laundry area and on-site parking.

BC Housing is also investing a further $2.7 million for necessary renovations, municipal fees, soft costs and contingency costs. The renovations are required to meet the needs and requirements of the tenants, ensure the site adheres to the design and safety specifications of BC Housing, and to extend the life of the building for another 40 years.

Ask Wellness Society will own and operate the building and will continue to receive ongoing operating funding from BC Housing.

“We are extremely excited to continue operating and supporting those individuals who have been able to transition into a more independent component of our housing continuum,” said Bob Hughes, CEO, Ask Wellness Society. “We also look forward to renovations that will allow for the building to become a more inclusive, welcoming space for its residents and the community.”

The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 76,000 new homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 1,600 homes in Kamloops.

Quick Facts:

  • An independent property appraisal was completed in March 2023 and supports the purchase price.
  • Previously established annual operating funding of approximately $250,000 will continue to be provided by BC Housing to Ask Wellness Society for management of the building.

Learn More:

To learn about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

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

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

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