Bowser society seeks housing feedback

Before the Bowser Seniors Housing Society can build an independent supportive living project in the Bowser village centre they are calling on the community to help update their needs assessment.

“We confirmed the need with an assessment five years ago,” said society secretary Sally Barton, “but banks and CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) and places like that want it updated.”

They hope the analysis  will support their assumption that seniors who live in the rural area between Qualicum Beach and Courtenay would like the option to stay in the area when they must move out of their own houses, Barton said.

“It’s hard to move out but eventually it is the best thing and some people don’t want to leave the community.”

Though still early in the process they are working with the Regional District of Nanaimo which secured a 20-year lease on Crown land for a nominal amount which could then be turned into a grant if the project is successful.

They plan to start with 18 to 20 units and possibly expand to 36.

It would be one step more supported living than the successful Lions seniors housing in Qualicum Bay, similar to the first two floors of The Gardens in Qualicum Beach, with fewer amenities Barton said.

The goal is to keep it affordable to people living on their Old Age Pension (OAP) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

People would have their own apartment-like units with a communal kitchen and other shared facilities where additional services could be purchased.

The society, a registered charity, was formed in 2005 and Barton said, “We are more optimistic than ever, we have the conceptual planning and the RDN has been very supportive.”

They ask anyone 50 or older in Lighthouse Country (Horne Lake and Qualicum Bay to Buckley Bay) to complete the survey on their website ( — best option) or find a paper copy at popular spots in the community by the end of September.

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