LETTER: Time for housing project is now

The recent coverage and general knowledge of our project requires clarification and updating.

The SHARE Housing Initiative proposes a new 42-unit building on Falls St.

The SHARE Housing Initiative proposes a new 42-unit building on Falls St.

Re: “Two Nelson affordable housing projects pitched,” May 18

The recent coverage and general knowledge of our project requires clarification and updating. The SHARE Housing Initiative project is described in the agenda material for the City of Nelson committee of the whole, May 16.

We plan to build 42 units, 24 studios and 18 one bedroom units, on Falls St., behind Our Daily Bread.

We are “shovel ready.”

The land is being donated unconditionally by the Kootenay Christian Fellowship to make your community a better place to live. Of the seven people on the project team, two are with Kootenay Christian Fellowship.

Our units are targeted at low income singles, seniors and couples without children. Our targeted rents are $600 (studios) and $800 (one bedrooms), affordable to people earning $24,000 and a combined $32,000 annually.

The units are affordable for people earning $12.50 to $16.50 per hour. These targeted clients are the people working in our retail stores, lumber yards, coffee shops and tourist enterprises in Nelson. They are the artists, workers at our not-for-profits and the children of Nelson trying to stay here. They are our low income seniors.

We have detailed preliminary capital cost and operating budgets for our project. They have been discussed with BC Housing. The building is estimated to cost $6.3 million financed with equity of $3.75 million and a mortgage of $2.3 million. The Kootenay Christian Fellowship land donation is worth $775,000.

Our building will be self-sufficient (projected revenues will cover projected costs without other programs or supports). This is a current BC Housing requirement for capital funding.

Our building residents will be independent not requiring social supports. This is preferred by the BC Housing funding call.

We met with the city staff prior to the May 16 committee of the whole to outline our needs and requirements from the city to help bring this project to a reality. We are asking the city to contribute all offsite and onsite fees associated with the city.

The BC government announced they had $355 million for affordable housing funding over the next five years, $50 million in the first year. BC Housing is now receiving expressions of interest on affordable housing programs. We are working on our response. Colombia Basin Trust identified affordable housing as one of their strategic priorities over the five years to 2020. Two major funding sources have dollars to invest in our community.

Year one is the time for this project we are ready!

SHARE Housing Initiative Project Team