Vernon just got a boost in affordable housing for seniors.
The provincial government announced on Wednesday, Aug. 2 the opening of a new, 48-unit apartment building that houses seniors with low to moderate incomes.
“The housing crisis is affecting everyone in B.C., including seniors, which is why our government is working hard to build more good affordable homes that people can rely on,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee.
“Having 48 new affordable rental homes on Coldstream Avenue become available to seniors in our community is such great news.”
The building, called McCulloch II, is situated at 3404 Coldstream Ave., and is attached to the older McCulloch Court building, which was phase one of the two pronged seniors housing development.
McCulloch II is a four-storey apartment building with 42 one-bedroom homes and six accessible one-bedroom homes for people living with disabilities.
“Vernon’s rental vacancy rate remains below one per cent, which emphasizes the need to find collaborative and sustainable solutions for more housing stock to match a variety of needs,” said Vernon mayor Victor Cummings.
The new building is complete with a scooter room, bike room, gym, washing machines, common area lounge and a communal garden on the top-level patio. So far, 21 seniors have taken occupancy.
That still leaves 27 available. However, the list of seniors waiting for affordable housing is “never-ending” in the province, and it is “hard to put a time-frame” of when exactly the remaining rooms will be filled, according to Lesley Waughman, building manager at VPAS.
“After 16-plus years of persistence, we are pleased to see our new 48-suite facility ready to move into,” said Ray Ivey, board president of VPAS.
Of the 48 units, 33 have rent-geared-to-income rates, with rent set at 30 per cent of household income. Rent for the units ranges from $375 to $900 a month. Vehicle parking is an additional $40 a month, with parking for motorized scooters costing $25 a month.