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Comox affordable housing project breaks ground

Cypress Gardens will have 52 one-bedroom homes to accommodate seniors and those with disabilities
Work has started on the Cypress Gardens seniors affordable living project at 1582 Balmoral Ave in Comox. Inset - artist’s rendition of the project. Photos by Terry Farrell

Construction is finally underway for the 52-unit affordable housing project in Comox.

The project, at 1582 Balmoral Ave. will accommodate seniors and those with disabilities.

The project will be named Cypress Gardens and be operated by the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society. It will consist of 52 one-bedroom homes that meet adaptable housing standards, allowing residents to live more independently. An aging 16-unit townhouse complex on the site has been demolished to make way for the new, larger building.

“These new homes will give more seniors and people with disabilities in Comox an affordable place to call home so they can live independently and stay connected to their community,” said Courtenay-Comox MLA, Ronna-Rae Leonard. “Thank you to the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society for working with the Province to bring these much-needed homes to our community.”

Half of the units will have rent geared to income, where rent is 30 per cent of the tenant’s income. Some of the units will be rented to seniors with very low incomes, such as those receiving income or disability assistance, or a senior’s pension. Others will be at or below-market rent.

“The Town of Comox and council are incredibly proud to be collaborating with the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society on such an important project,” said Comox Mayor Russ Arnott. “Cypress Gardens represents a positive step forward in ensuring seniors and persons with disabilities are supported and valued within the community.”

The Province is providing approximately $5.2 million through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide approximately $161,000 in annual operating funding. The Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society provided the land.

“On behalf of our staff, board of directors and volunteers, we are ecstatic to see the Cypress Gardens project getting underway,” said Ann Janssen, executive director, Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society. “The support from the Town of Comox, the community and the Lions Clubs of the Comox Valley (Black Creek Lions Club, Comox Valley Lions Club, Comox Valley Monarch Lions Club) has been overwhelming. Once completed, Cypress Gardens will help 52 more seniors and persons with disabilities move into housing they can afford and toward economic stability.”

The building is scheduled for completion in spring 2023.