Hiker Lydia Kania, 91, and Corky Evans helped each other to the finish line of last fall’s Hike or Bike for Housing, which raised $45,000 for the seniors’ housing project in the heart of Slocan. Photo: Moe Lyons

Slocan seniors’ housing to break ground this fall

Almost 50 per cent of the Slocan Valley population of 5,000 are age 50 or older

Construction will start this fall on eight affordable housing units for seniors in Slocan.

“It’s been a very long haul,” said Slocan Valley Seniors’ Housing Society president Rita Moir, “but we are really pleased to announce final funding has been approved.”

Along with the good news, there is still one hurdle: the twelve-suite project in the heart of Slocan has been downsized to eight units due to sharp increases in construction materials and additional requirements since initial budgeting two years ago. BC Housing is encouraging the Society to pursue the additional four units when a future program becomes available.

“We’ll think of these eight units as phase one,” said Moir. “We’re so glad to get going with these eight beautiful suites, and construction will include the infrastructure to get those final four done as soon as possible.” The four-plexes, directly behind the Slocan Library and Wellness Centre, will include six one-bedroom suites with lofts and two two-bedroom suites.

A 2015 need and demand Study by housing consultant Ann Harvey documented the great need for seniors’ housing: almost 50 per cent of the Slocan Valley population of 5,000 are age 50 or older, yet there are only 20 units of affordable, purposely-built seniors’ rental housing, including the housing society’s Passmore Lodge, in the 100-km long mountain valley.

The society publicly tendered the Slocan project, and as a result, NDB Construction (Nancy and Darin Berg) of Castlegar was chosen and plans to start construction this fall.

The $1.9 million project has become a reality because of funds, land and many thousands of volunteer hours from BC Housing, Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust), the Village of Slocan, Slocan Valley Economic Development Comm-ission, RDCK, Slocan Valley Community Legacy Society, Heritage Credit Union, Slocan Legion Branch #276, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, local housing and trades professionals and the entire local community.

BC Housing is contributing $831,000 plus a low-interest mortgage, the Trust is providing $269,000, and the community, including those aged one to 91, raised more than $45,000 last year during the three-day Hike or Bike for Housing. The Village contributed land leased for $1 per year for 99 years, plus help with infrastructure, funding and permitting. Over $110,000 in pro bono professional services have been contributed by community professionals, including building designer Eric Clough, legal counsel Leon Pigott, and engineers Ted Nunn and Dale Norman. Bartel Skeete of Winlaw donated $25,000 worth of construction lumber.

“This has really been a group effort,” said Moir, “but we especially want to thank our team: building designer Eric Clough and project co-ordinator Tamara Smith, who worked doggedly with BC Housing; Mark Brunton at the Trust, and Slocan’s Mayor Jessica Lunn, council, staff, and CAO Michelle Gordon. I also want to thank our housing society staff and board of twelve stalwart volunteers, who have worked so hard and have held firm. It is a big project for a small non-profit society.”

For more information, please attend the Slocan Valley Seniors’ Housing Society’s Annual General Meeting at Passmore Lodge on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. or visit www.svhousing.ca.

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

Just Posted

446 complaints issued in 3 months about Central Kootenay governments: B.C. Ombudsperson

Most common complaints were about decisions and bylaw enforcement made by local governments

Convoy of essential service vehicles visits Nelson hospital and care homes

The event was meant as a thank you to front-line workers

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

Vehicle incident causes Hwy 6 closure and power outages in Slocan Valley

A Thursday afternoon incident has closed the main highway in the Slocan Valley

Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

Social distancing brings big challenges to offering support

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19: postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

53 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., four new deaths

B.C. has 498 active confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read