A new 36-unit affordable housing project will be constructed on the site of the old St. John the Evangelist Anglican church on Buller Street in Ladysmith. (File photo)

CVRD’s affordable housing service invests in first project

36-unit building in Ladysmith will cost $10.3 million

A new housing development in Ladysmith will be the first to receive a financial contribution through the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s affordable housing service.

The Ladysmith Resource Centre Association has plans for a three-storey residential development of 36 units for low and moderate income families, seniors and persons with a developmental disability.

The development is sited for 314 Buller St. in Ladysmith and, if successful in acquiring the necessary development and building permits, is anticipated to break ground this summer.

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“Our board is excited to support a project of this nature through our new service, and we are appreciative of the work done by the Cowichan Housing Association over the last six months to bring this forward,” said Aaron Stone, the CVRD’s chairman.

“The project is a prime example of our intention with this service: support new bricks and mortar housing designed to meet the needs of vulnerable segments of our population.”

The estimated cost of the proposed development is approximately $10.3 million, with $317,000 coming from the CVRD’s Housing Trust Fund.

The district’s Housing Trust Fund was approved by taxpayers in a referendum during the last municipal elections.

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The funds collected by the HTF are meant to be used by the Cowichan Housing Association to provide capital contributions to affordable rental housing projects and support project-development activities that lay the foundation for affordable housing developments.

Other contributors to the project in Ladysmith include BC Housing ($3.6M), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ($1.5M pending application approval), Ladysmith Resources Centre Association ($970,000 inclusive of land value) and the Town of Ladysmith ($258,989).

“This project is the first of what we hope are many developments that provide much needed affordable housing for residents of the Cowichan region,” said Gail Calderwood, co-chairwoman of the Cowichan Housing Association.

“We were pleased to recommend a capital contribution to the LRCA project because it provides affordable rental housing to a broad spectrum of community members.”

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Guido Weisz, president of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association, said the LRCA recognizes the local and regional support that helped establish the CVRD’s Housing Trust Fund and has made this contribution from the Cowichan Housing Association possible.

“We sincerely thank the people of the Cowichan region for this funding,” he said.

“It brings us a step closer to the fruition of this project, which we hope to break ground on this summer.”

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