June 30, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - There are 98 new affordable housing units coming to Kamloops as work continues on the city's homelessness action plan.
"Let's get building houses," Health Minister Terry Lake, who was on hand with Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Mayor Peter Milobar for the announcement, says.
Milobar calls this announcement the perfect way to celebrate the five year anniversary of the city’s homelessness action plan.
The units will be for people with low to moderate incomes and will be built on three city-owned properties, with construction financing from the province. The three properties are located at 1685 and 1940 Pacific Way in Aberdeen and Dufferin, and 1050 McMurdo Street in the downtown area.
The first phase of proposals will be sent out this summer to non-profit housing organizations. The request for proposal will be for the design, construction and manage the properties. Once the proposals are submitted the amount of the provincial funding will be finalized.
The construction is likely to be completed in two parts, with each phase competed one year after the initial proposals go out.
“Success on the housing front only comes as a result of partnerships,” Stone says in speaking of the collaboration between the city and the province.
Stone believes this will be a new start for seniors, those battling addictions, currently homeless or for families trying to get back on their feet.
Milobar says this project has been ‘six years in the making' and notes originally there was resistance to the idea. While residents supported affordable housing, after multiple public hearings it was soon discovered that it was an issue of land use. Each potential address city officials provided 'no one thought it was the right site.'
Regardless of the initial opposition, Milobar says this project is a major achievement.
“This is not an insignificant number for a community our size,” he says of the number of units.
Milobar and Stone both say 98 units for Kamloops is comparable to 750 to 1000 units going up in the Lower Mainland.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015