More people in Port Alberni will be able to remain in their homes at current rents, with the Province facilitating the purchase of the 41-unit King George Apartments.
Located at 3131 5th Ave., the building provides one- and two-bedroom units that cost considerably less than average market rents in the area – ranging from approximately $500 to $633 per month. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Port Alberni had leased the apartment building for the past nine years.
The building was recently listed on the market for sale. However, CMHA wanted to find a way to secure this affordable housing for its clients and ensure rental rates were not impacted by a purchase by a private investor or developer. That’s why the Province and CMHA Port Alberni partnered to acquire the building.
“With this affordable housing building for sale, there was a real chance that whoever purchased it would redevelop the site or raise rents significantly,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “By purchasing this building, we are making sure that people in the community continue to have rental homes they can afford.”
CMHA received a grant of $3 million and low-interest financing of $1.86 million from the Province to purchase the building, which provides rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes.
“Considering the current, critical housing shortage in Port Alberni, we are relieved to be able to secure these below-market rentals for the future,” said Katrina Kiefer, executive director, CMHA Port Alberni. “This purchase will provide stable, safe, affordable homes indefinitely, allowing CMHA to continue to provide services to our population focused around community wellness. We are grateful for the past generosity of the building owner and the provincial government, through BC Housing, for its forward-thinking actions that made this housing possible.”
“This purchase protects 41 affordable rental homes for people in Port Alberni,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “The people who live there now can continue to have the peace of mind that comes with having a safe and affordable home.”
The sale of the building closed on May 11, 2021, with no disruption or change for tenants.
- CMHA Port Alberni paid $4.8 million for the property, plus approximately $64,600 in related fees.
- An independent appraisal of the site was completed on March 25, 2021. The appraisal took into account the existing market value of the property and valued the building and land at $5.4 million.
- In addition to the 41 affordable homes secured in this purchase, there are another 172 new homes completed or underway in Port Alberni.
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/