Construction underway on new Parksville affordable housing units

Photo by Kevin Forsyth
Latest Oceanside News

Work is underway on a new housing development in Parksville that will provide 87 affordable rental homes for families, seniors and people living with disabilities with moderate and low incomes.

The new development will consist of eight three-bedroom town homes and a 79-unit apartment building with one- and two-bedroom options, according to a release from the provincial government.

“This new project at 360 Moilliet Street represents the impactful work that results when municipal, provincial and local organizations work together. Finding affordable housing, especially on Vancouver Island, is a struggle for many members of our communities,” said Andrea Blakeman, CEO of Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society (NAHS). 

“We are grateful to the City of Parksville, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and BC Housing for their exceptional collaboration to make this project a reality and build new homes for many families. We hope this development represents the first of many projects we work on together,” Blakeman continued.

Some of the homes will also be geared to people who have been commuting into town for work, because they cannot find affordable housing in Parksville, according to the province.

“I’m excited for the people who will be living in these new homes. We know there are many families needing quality affordable housing. Having housing so people can live in the community where they work is key to a sustainable workforce for our city,” said Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne.

The province said it is providing $9.5 million through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide $598,000 in annual operational funding. The City of Parksville and the RDN waived development costs totalling $725,000 for this development.

“With the cost of housing continuing to rise, it is becoming harder every day for individuals and families to find affordable housing. This issue is a strategic priority for the RDN and one of the actions we can take to respond to housing insecurity in our region is to waive sewer development cost charges (DCCs) for eligible not-for-profit rental housing projects,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair.

To help preserve the large mature trees and provide natural stormwater management, a 0.5-hectare (1.25 acres) parkland on the building site is being protected as park space.

The building will be operated by the NAHS, which will have on-site office space.

People are expected to start moving into their new homes in spring or summer 2023.

The Community Housing Fund supports mixed-income buildings where 50 per cent of the units are for households with annual incomes up to $64,000, 30 per cent of the units are for households with incomes up to $74,000 and 20 per cent of the units are for households with very low incomes (including those on income or disability assistance).

Through provincial investments, more than 1,520 affordable homes have opened or are underway in the RDN since 2017, according to the release. Of those, 213 are located in Parksville.

The Community Housing Fund is part of the Province’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan.

The fund is an investment of $1.9 billion to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes over 10 years for moderate- and low-income families and individuals.

Over 8,800 of these homes are already open, under construction or in development around the province.

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