Construction is starting on 49 new affordable rental homes for families and seniors in Fernie through a partnership between the Province, the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and the Fernie Family Housing Society.
“It has been difficult for many people in B.C. to find safe, affordable housing, including areas in rural B.C.” said Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust. “These 49 new rental homes for families and seniors in Fernie will help people be able to stay in their community, close to loved ones, work, school and services they count on. Thanks to CBT and the Fernie Family Housing Society for partnering with the government to make this project a reality.”
Located on a vacant portion of 1301 4th Ave., the project for families and seniors with low to moderate incomes includes a 35-unit apartment building and 14 townhouse units. The development will also include a children’s play area that will serve the entire site.
The project is centrally located, within close proximity to amenities and services. Isabella Dicken Elementary school is adjacent to the site, and Fernie Secondary school and Elk Valley Hospital are located behind the site.
Residents are expected to move into the building in late fall 2021.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Ange Qualizza, mayor, City of Fernie –
“The 49 units represent the first purpose-built rental complex in Fernie in 20 years. The project addresses specific needs identified in the 2017 City of Fernie/West Fernie Affordable Housing Strategy, and the location is ideal for families with children. The city is pleased to support initiatives that promote multi-family housing, active transportation and affordability as part of our commitment to a healthy and resilient community.”
Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust –
“This is the first time in several years that rental housing has been built in Fernie, so these units will greatly help many local families, seniors and individuals live in suitable, affordable homes. The number of organizations partnering to make this project come true is impressive, and we’re glad we were able to tailor our resources to support their efforts. Congratulations to the entire community of Fernie.”
Jill Gilhuly, board member, Fernie Family Housing Society –
“The mission of the Fernie Family Housing Society is strengthening the community by enhancing access for residents to safe and affordable housing. With the support of our funding providers, BC Housing and the Columbia Basin Trust, we are pleased to be moving closer to providing new rental housing options for residents of Fernie.”
- The Province is providing approximately $1.4 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and annual operating funding of approximately $71,000 for the 14 townhouse units.
- The Province and the CBT are providing a combined grant of approximately $4.6 million for the 35-unit apartment building.
- Rents are projected to range from approximately $600 to $1,600 per month:
- The apartment units will rent from $770 (one bedroom) to $1,500 (three bedroom).
- The townhouse units will rent from $600 to $1,400 (two bedroom) and $690 to $1,600 (three bedroom).
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.