Construction of a $6.9 million, 35-unit independent seniors, affordable housing complex in Okanagan Falls is scheduled to start next summer.
Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson, announced Wednesday at the OK Falls legion the province was giving a capital funding grant of $4.7 million to the South Skaha Housing Society.
Completion date on the project to be located on Veteran’s Way and Willow Street is the summer of 2018.
“It’s really good, it’s been a long process. This has been going on since 2005 and we really do need it here,” said society president Robert McLeod. “We’ve lost a lot of people. We had a fellow here who was going to turn a hundred and we had to send him to Oliver and he died within months because he lost total interest.
“A lot of people have been here all their lives and then they have to go to Oliver or Osoyoos, and it doesn’t seem far but when you realize that their relatives and their friends are getting old as well and can’t drive they lose all interest.”
Larson is scheduled to make a similar funding announcement in Keremeos later in the day to the expansion of an existing seniors rental complex.
The exact amount of the grant was not available, however it is not believed as much as the one for the South Skaha Society.
“This investment is essential in keeping our community strong by providing local seniors with affordable housing options,” said Larson. “Seniors have worked hard to create the prosperous province we call home and I’m glad that our government’s strong fiscal management can provide the funds needed for this project.”
The funding is part of a $500-million investment in affordable rental housing announced by the province in September.
“It’s a meaningful next step in addressing the affordability challenges that’s facing all British Columbians,” said Larson. “It’s your (South Skaha Society) willingness to work towards this goal on behalf of the residents that made this happen because I know it was no easy task.
“It takes a whole community.”
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Area D director Tom Siddon of the Regional District of South Okanagan-Similkameen described the project as badly needed.
“It’s long overdue for this community in which we have a high demographic of older citizens, many of modest means, and who will very much benefit from this project,” he said.