The construction of the Kingsley Manor affordable housing project is progressing well and is expected to be completed in mid-January next year.
Duane Round, the building chair of Kingsley Low Rental Housing Society, said the project is within budget and the society is excited to see its three year project come to fruition. He added it couldn’t have come at a better time, as there is currently a huge shortage of affordable housing in Parksville and area.
“It’s been three years since we started to go ahead with this idea,” said Round. “It’s always really fulfilling to actually see it get completed and see people move in and start living their life here.”
The overall cost of the project is $5.5 million. It is the first project in B.C. to receive funding through the Government of Canada Social Infrastructure Fund, to increase affordable housing for seniors.
Once the building is completed, it will have 28 units. They will house a mix of seniors aged 55 and above and individuals with disabilities who are able to live independently. Sixteen units will be made available for seniors and the rest for people with disabilities.
Round said rents are projected to be $500, $700 and $775 per month, depending on the unit, but those figures are still being finalized.
“We are still sorting out the tax issue with the City of Parksville and once that’s done we will know for sure how much the rent is going to be,” said Round. “But at the end of the day, we should be able to operate the facility with no operating funds from BC Housing or any level of government. So we’ve got to be able to cover our expenses with the rents that we collect. We try to get the rent as low as possible.”
So far, Round said, they have received a lot of applications already but each one will be reviewed by the BC Housing Authority to see if they meet the criteria and will be eligible to stay at the manor.
Round is encouraging those interested in renting a unit to go to the BC Housing website and fill out an application. They can also pick up an application form at the Society of Organized Services (SOS) in Parksville, which will mail them for the applicants.
“We don’t have any age discrimination other than the 16 units for the seniors, which are counted as being over 55,” said Round. “The other units will be available to any age limit adult with disabilities getting preference.”
The units are about 565 square feet in size. They each have one bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen, and some units have patios, as well. There are more than 30 parking spaces underneath the building, 12 parking spaces for scooters and also bike racks for those who cycle.
The manor is located at 312 Hirst Ave. in Parksville, situated in a perfect spot, said Round, as it is surrounded by residential homes and apartments. The bus stop is just in front of the building and the facility is within walking distance to downtown Parksville.
Kingsley Low Rental Housing Society, which operates two other properties, will be the non-profit operator of the manor.