Timeline unclear for repairs on BC Housing apartment in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Timeline unclear for repairs on BC Housing apartment in Kamloops

No one has lived in the building since a fire in January 2021.

It isn't clear when a BC Housing apartment in Kamloops damaged by a fire and a flood will be opened for tenants.

More than a year after the Crown agency bought the 42-unit North Shore building, it sits vacant and currently awaits a $2.7 million repair.

The apartment building at 435 Cherry Avenue was damaged by a fire in a January 2021. That forced its residents out and the former owner Rockwood Homes sold it to the province for $12.8 million two years later before it was be repaired.

BC Housing initially planned to open the building to low- and moderate-income families by the fall of 2023, but said it had to extend that timeline after finding the owner didn't finish certain repairs that were promised. It held back $250,000 from the purchase price because of the failed work.

"Renovations are taking longer than expected, in part because the seller did not complete all of work as outlined in the contract of purchase and sale. BC Housing did withhold funds commensurate to the value of the incomplete work from the seller to compensate for incomplete work. However, this has caused a delay to the building’s opening," a BC Housing spokesperson said in a written statement.

The repair timeline was extended again, and the budget increased, in January 2024 when a burst pipe was discovered inside. The spokesperson said it was caused by extreme weather combined with "an aged piping system that required replacement."

"BC Housing remains committed to ensuring that when the building opens it is safe for residents and will update the community when additional information, such as the anticipated tenanting date, becomes available," the statement read.

The delayed Cherry Avenue project is now one of several projects the province has in its books for Kamloops after the housing minister announced last month hundreds of new BC Housing projects coming to the city.

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