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Temporary housing for seniors displaced by flood to be built in Princeton’s industrial park

BC Housing promises 20 units ready in early 2023
The Silvercrest apartment building for seniors was devastated by the 2021 flood. Spotlight file photo

Work has started on the building of a temporary housing site for Princeton seniors still displaced by the November 2021 flood, the province announced Wednesday, Sept. 21.

The temporary units will be constructed by BC Housing in the town’s industrial park, on lots 141 and 151 of Stan Thompson Dr. and should be ready for occupancy early next year, states a release.

The units will primarily be available for former residents of Silvercrest, two BC Housing buildings on Fenchurch and Billiter Avenues damaged by flood waters

“For people in Princeton, finding appropriate, affordable housing was difficult even before last year’s floods,” said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen. “B.C. and the Town of Princeton have been working closely since then to find ways to help community members. These units will provide temporary homes for seniors in Princeton, while we continue to work with all our partners on permanent housing solutions to build Princeton back even better.”

All tenants who were displaced from Silvercrest and have not been able to secure housing elsewhere will be offered the option to move into the new units. Previous Silvercrest residents will continue to pay the same monthly rents they were paying prior to the flooding. Any remaining units will be made available to other eligible Princeton-area seniors.

The development will consist of 10 modular units, each with two separate one-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will have a kitchen, private bathroom and balcony. Laundry will be available in each modular home, shared between two units. Landscaping will provide privacy and outdoor space.

The province is leasing the property from the municipality for a nominal fee, for a period of up to five years, and the town will provide the infrastructure for the properties.

That will cost approximately $1.4 million, which will be drawn from the treasury fund emergency flood relief package, announced in April and totalling $11.9 million.

Princeton and District Community Services Society (PDCSS) will manage the site.

“PDCSS is thrilled to see the development of a temporary housing development that will provide tenants with a sense of security and routine that has been lacking since the flooding events of November 2021,” said Becky Vermette, executive director. “PDCSS wishes to thank BC Housing and the Town of Princeton for their efforts to bring this much-needed development to the community of Princeton. “

It’s “a unique solution,” said Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne. “Although not a permanent solution, I am happy that we will have an interim housing option for those who were displaced.”

In its release BC Housing stated a commitment to finding permanent solutions for the residents.

Related: MLA Russell promises Princeton flood victims will not be homeless

Related: Princeton hopes to establish ‘camp’ for flood victims in industrial park

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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