Debbie Wesnedge spoke Friday about what moving into the new affordable Qualicum Park Village meant to her and her son. At left is Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell.

Debbie Wesnedge spoke Friday about what moving into the new affordable Qualicum Park Village meant to her and her son. At left is Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell.

New home, new hope with the opening of Qualicum Park Village

'I'm no longer on welfare,' says thankful new resident

The first residents moved in early this year, but partners and residents gathered Friday to celebrate the official opening of affordable housing in Qualicum Beach.

Qualicum Park Village replaced the previous Kiwanis housing on the site beside the curling club and now provides 34 town homes for families and seniors.

“Being able to have affordable housing has allowed me to be able to stand back on my own two feet again,” resident Debbie Wesnedge told the couple dozen gathered Friday.

Wesnedge left a “bad situation” in Vancouver and moved back to her hometown with her four-year-old son a year ago but found, “It was very difficult to find housing that our family could fit comfortably in and afford on a single family income.”

“I’ve always supported myself since I was 15, both my parents passed away at a young age,” she said of her struggles arriving back in town with “nothing but my car and my son, that was it.”

Staying in a resort cabin over the winter, knowing she’d have to move out in June, she attended an open house at the new development where she and her son quickly fell for it.

Wesnedge remembered playing in the adjacent park when she lived on the other side of it as a kid and now her soccer playing son loved the idea.

“I want the little blue one by the park,” he told her and “when they told me I had unit number 23, by the park, of course I burst into tears because that was the one my son wanted.”

They settled in quickly, giving her the comfort and stability to find a new job just blocks away and her son has other children in the safe little complex to play with, away from the road.

“A year later I’m no longer on welfare,” she said beaming.

The project started with the Qualicum and Parksville Kiwanis Housing Society donating the land of their previous 20 unit Kiwanis Housing, worth $1.1 million. The society also provided $268,000 in equity and contributions and manages the complex.

“Our society is fortunate to have the strong support of levels of government and our community to build Qualicum Park Village for seniors and families in need of affordable homes,” said Pat Weber, society president.

The Town of Qualicum Beach contributed $374,380 in various waived fees and $250,000 in matching fundraising contributions. The B.C. government arranged approximately $3.6 million in construction financing for the project and the Regional District of Nanaimo waived $62,000 in development fees.

“These new homes meet the housing needs across generations from families to seniors within a beautiful natural setting,” said Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation and Parksville-Qualicum MLA.

“The new housing complex is a great addition to our town and we’d like to welcome all the families and seniors to their new homes,” said Mayor Teunis Westbroek, adding the town was grateful to take part.

Just Posted

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue logo on the back of a service vehicle. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville and Qualicum Beach provide letters of support for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

ASAR asks for increase in funding, one-time capital grant and for RDN to buy out current facility

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Websit back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read