The property owned by the Kootenay Christian Fellowship extends across this parking lot to the edge of Highway 3A. Pastor Jim Reimer hopes to put a building on it.

Pastor Jim Reimer’s latest plan: a new building to house Nelson’s poor

Jim Reimer is looking for community support and money for an ambitious new project.

Pastor Jim Reimer is continuing his quest for affordable housing for the most needy people in Nelson.

He wants the public to come to Our Daily Bread on April 21 to discuss his latest idea—a $6-million three-storey building to be constructed behind the Kootenay Christian Fellowship’s building on Falls Street

“There will be refreshments and a facilitated meeting to hear people’s questions, insights, and dreams for affordable housing,” he says. “We want to hear ideas and concerns we may not have thought of.”

Reimer says the first floor of his proposed building would provide rented commercial space and would house SHARE Nelson, whose current lease on Lakeside Drive expires next year. The upper two floors would provide 40 housing units. He said he hopes to break ground within a year.

Our Daily Bread would continue to operate in its current Falls Street location, in front of the proposed new building.

“For tenants, we are looking at seniors, couples, the working poor, youth in transition from Cicada Place. These will be below-market rents.”

How will he finance construction of such a major project?

Reimer says he knows that rents based on the cost of construction of the building will be around $1500 a month, far beyond what his tenants could afford, “so we are definitely going to need some input.”

Reimer offers a challenge to a community that talks a lot about affordable housing.

“If the community really wants to have more rental units for this clientele, someone has to come up with some money,” he says.

“We are in conversations right now with a number of players: CMHC, the Columbia Basin Trust, BC Housing, the City of Nelson. If we can have synergy between these players, this will be a done deal.”

Asked how he expects to convince CMHC and BC Housing when both agencies are known to be backing away from financing housing projects like this one, Reimer says, “Anything is possible. BC Housing has all sorts of opportunities that we can tap into that are not real dollars, but they can give us expertise and support — they are very bullish about this and we are in discussions with them.”

Reimer says he has been discussing the plan with city planning staff, and while he says he has so far received no clear commitments, “there are all kinds of ways they could help make this happen, like help with connection fees and development costs and those kinds of things.”

Reimer is an optimistic man who does not give up easily. His much-publicized 2011 plan to buy and renovate the Savoy building turned out to be financially unfeasible. And his more recent plan to create a secure homeless camp fell on deaf ears at Nelson city council, but he says that proposal is not dead and still has considerable community support.

The April 21 meeting at Our Daily Bread starts at 7:00 pm.




Just Posted

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

COLUMN: 1919 – Forest fire threatens Rosemont

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

LETTER: A good news story

From reader Lonnie Snyder

School District 8 names new international principal

Jann Schmidt has been an educator for 26 years

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read