Klee Hunter

Ward Street Place one step closer to receiving grant money

Ward Street Place is among four Kootenay housing projects to pre-qualify for a new grant to increase affordable housing.

Ward Street Place is among four Kootenay housing projects to pre-qualify for a new grant to increase affordable housing.

Nelson CARES society, which owns the 100-year-old apartment block at Ward and Victoria streets, must now submit a full business case for the renovations it plans to undertake to add 12 new low cost rental units to Ward Street Place.

If that meets the criteria of the funders — Columbia Basin Trust and BC Housing — a grant for over $1 million could come their way by the end of the year.

“There’s a lot of pieces that need to fall into place between then and now,” explained Jenny Robinson, executive director of Nelson CARES. “We’re happy to be into the next phase of the application, but nothing is for sure yet.”

Projects in Salmo, Fernie and Revelstoke were also selected to move to the next phase of qualifying for a piece of the $10 million that the funders are offering over three years. A total of nine submissions were reviewed for this first round of funding.

For Ward Street Place, the affordable housing grant would pay for just over half of a $2 million revitalization project to not only increase the number of rentals, but also increase safety and energy efficiency in the 32 existing units and restore the building’s exterior.

Besides money from the grant, Robinson said funding for the project will come from refinancing the mortgage on the building and a fundraising campaign slated to begin in September.

“The grant is like the domino that will set the whole thing in motion,” Robinson said. “We don’t want to go to the community for help until we’re really sure we’ll be getting the funding.”

Part of the project includes moving Stepping Stones emergency shelter from the basement of Ward Street Place to its own building downtown. Nelson CARES has put an offer on a new location and is also awaiting approval on that, according to Robinson.

Nelson CARES purchased Ward Street Place in 2002 as a social enterprise. It leases out five commercial spaces in the building and uses that revenue to offset the rent on residential units.

There is always a list of people hoping for a spot in the building.

“This project would go a long way to helping us house more people safely,” Robinson said.

Just Posted

Campbell scores in OT as Leafs outlast Nitehawks 7-6

Nelson gave up three leads against rival Beaver Valley

COLUMN: Celebrate the season at Nelson’s Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre presents a program of Halloween delights

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Applications sought for annual Nelson heritage award

Deadline for submissions is Oct. 30.

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Most Read