Nelson CARES executive director Jenny Robinson speaks Wednesday during the ground breaking ceremony at Lakeside Place, the new seniors affordable housing building. Photo: Tyler Harper

Nelson CARES executive director Jenny Robinson speaks Wednesday during the ground breaking ceremony at Lakeside Place, the new seniors affordable housing building. Photo: Tyler Harper

Construction begins on seniors affordable housing building

Lakeside Place is projected to be finished by fall 2020

A 13-year journey to put a hole in the ground feels like a miracle to Jenny Robinson.

The Nelson CARES executive director says over a decade of work will bring affordable housing to seniors and adults with disabilities late next year when the new Lakeside Place building at 805 Nelson Ave. is completed.

“When you conceptualize that that’s what you want to do, it feels a bit miraculous when things start to roll and you get your team in place and things start to happen,” said Robinson. “It’s great. It will be miraculous for the folks we get to house here.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week to mark the construction of the four-storey building that will feature 47 affordable homes, five of which will be set aside for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Of those homes, 36 will be one-bedroom units, six will be two bedroom, and five will be studio units.

The $13-million project was originally conceived by the Nelson and District Housing Society in 2006. The provincial government is investing $8.6 million in the project, Columbia Basin Trust has chipped in with a $200,000 grant and the remaining balance will be paid off via mortgage.

Nelson CARES provided the land for the project and will also own and operate the building, which is designed to be fully accessible for its tenants.

On-site staff with Nelson CARES’ Kootenay seniors program will provide home support and transportation options, and Robinson added there are also plans to include recreational programming.

“We tried to design something, even though it’s modern, that would match the community as best as we can within a finite budget,” said Robinson. “Ideally it would be a little more historic looking, but it’s going to be an attractive corner where it wasn’t before.”

Construction on the site was delayed by a year when asbestos was discovered in the old motel that was torn down in 2018.

Robinson said the projected completion is now for the fall of 2020, but that could change. She added the hope is to have the building occupied after Christmas 2020.

Robinson said there are currently 164 people on the waiting list for homes at Lakeside Place, all of whom are currently living in either Nelson or surrounding area. She said people at-risk of homelessness, experiencing poor housing conditions or leaving family violence will be considered as tenants.

“We’ll vet those that are in need and see where we land. Hopefully we’ll get 47 people in here pretty quickly.”

Rents will be decided by B.C. Housing.

Lakeside Place is the latest in several affordable housing projects currently under construction in Nelson, which has had a zero per cent vacancy rate for the last five years.

Nelson CARES is also currently working on an ongoing renovation of the 107-year-old Ward Street Place, ground broke earlier this year on a 43-unit building at Hall and Front Streets and last month the society announced it was beginning a $3.2-million restoration of Cedar Grove Estates in Rosemont.

The SHARE Housing Initiative Society, meanwhile, also has approval to construct a five-storey affordable housing building at 520 Falls St.

The emphasis on seniors, however, differentiates Lakeside Place from the other projects. Robinson said Stepping Stones shelter has seen increased use by the baby boomer generation.

“We’re seeing a huge bubble in population at the shelter, which we hadn’t seen really in the past but the last five years we’ve seen tremendous growth.”

A provincial news release handed out at the ceremony said nearly 300 other affordable homes are currently planned for the Kootenays, including 122 rentals, 52 units of social housing for Indigenous peoples and 15 units for women and children leaving violence.

The provincial government included a $7-billion commitment in its 2018 budget to build affordable housing, with the target of 114,000 homes province-side constructed by 2028.

Related:

Women, children escaping domestic violence have few options in Nelson



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin
Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is the largest protected area in southeastern B.C. Photo: B.C. Parks
Province adds land to Valhalla and Purcell parks

Both additions enhance the parks’ ecological values, the province says

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read