An overflow crowd gathered in the lobby to officially open Hustwick Place on Jensen Avenue in downtown Parksville on Friday.
Lead by the Parksville Lions Club Housing Society on the site of their former 50-year-old one story housing project, the new four story, 33 unit mixed-use project has been occupied since the fall.
Barb Barrett, who lived in the old building on the site, was one of the first to move into the new building and said she loves her clean third story, ocean-view apartment.
She loves the location, within a block of city hall and the library, Thrifty Plaza and many shops and facilities.
The Lions project received around $4 million from the provincial and federal governments, meaning 28 of the 33 residential units are subsidized for low income seniors and and people with disabilities, with rent capped at 30 per cent of their income.
The city also waived approximately $274,773 in fees and development cost charges and the regional district waived $109,896.
The building includes ground floor retail, fitting the city’s goal of increasing density and mixed-use projects downtown.
“Our government is committed to giving a hand-up to those in need,” said James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, on behalf of the Minister of Human Resources, Skills Development and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
“The province places great emphasis on the creation of affordable housing for seniors in need” said Ron Cantelon, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.
“This great addition to our community will go a long way in connecting seniors with quality, affordable housing right here in Parksville,” said mayor Chris Burger.
RDN chair Joe Stanhope joked that he went to school in the area 100 years ago and remembers when the property was open farmers fields.
Former Parksville councillor Dean Hustwick spoke on behalf of the family the building was named after, including his elderly father Allen who was mayor for 12 years and was in attendance.
“This really symbolizes what my father stands for, I don’t think there’s a greater honour,” he said.
For more information check www.actionplan.gc.ca, www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642.