After many years of anticipation and hard work, construction on the Church Avenue development has officially begun. The Kimberley Seniors Project Society (KSPS) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 to celebrate the new development.
Local dignitaries, members of the Seniors Project Society and representatives from BC Housing and Columbia Basin Trust were all present at the ceremony to celebrate the 12 new affordable family townhomes that are already under construction.
Dana Locke Director of Regional Development for BC Housing says the development will “make a real difference in the community”.
“It has been a long haul for the [Kimberley Seniors Project] Society to get to where we are today with the building. Today is the day we get to celebrate the fruits of our labour and the hard work that everyone has done,” said Locke. “This is a project that is an example of why I always say small communities get it done.”
She adds that the new housing site brings 12 new family housing units to Kimberley thanks to funding from several different areas.
“The government of Canada and BC provided a combined investment of nearly $1.6 million for the project,” Locke explained. “The Columbia Basin Trust provided $697,000 through the partnership agreement that BC Housing and CBT have – the Columbia Basin Investment in affordable housing program.”
The project also received $100,000 from BC Housing’s endowment fund.
New Dawn Developments is building the 12-unit rental complex that will see three separate buildings, each with four-unit multi-family dwellings, that will be managed by the KSPS as rental housing. The current development plan proposes to provide six two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units with 18 uncovered stalls located within the existing Church Ave. layout. Construction is underway and the anticipated completion date is November 1 of this year.
“The term affordable has really been a moving target over the years, particularly as the supply of rental housing in Kimberley has become so tight,” said Mayor Don McCormick. “The vision that the society had all these years remains in tact, which is housing for those that are struggling to keep up financially through circumstances that are beyond their immediate control. Thank you, on behalf of the City of Kimberley, for all that you do for the community. We look forward to getting it completed soon.”
Rick Rausch, President of the Kimberley Seniors Housing Society thanked all those involved. He says the City of Kimberley deserves special recognition for their “complete and unwavering support”.
“I want to say a special mention to Mr. [David] Biggs. Without him none of this would be possible,” said Rausch. “He’s been tireless and has spent countless hours, he’s navigated through all of the complexities and has brought us to where we are today. The first pioneer lodge serviced this community for over 50 years and we hope the second one will do the same for the next 50.”