By the start of February, tenants will be living at the long-awaited Braidwood supportive housing complex in East Courtenay.
Located at 810 Braidwood Rd., the three-storey building will contain 28 studio apartments and six one-bedroom units, along with a caretaker’s suite, for individuals who are at risk of homelessness. Monthly rental rates will range from $375 to $623 for a studio, and $734 to $757 for a one bedroom.
The M’akola Housing Society will own and operate the building. M’akola and the Wachiay Friendship Centre worked with a number of contributors — namely the City of Courtenay, the CVRD and BC Housing — to make the facility happen. The mortgage exceeds $1 million.
“We’re calling the Braidwood project supportive-like housing,” Roger Kishi, Wachiay’s director of homeless and housing programs, said Monday at Courtenay council. “We have partnerships with AIDS Vancouver Island, LUSH Valley, the Care-A-Van, and Island Health mental health and substance use to provide services to the tenants in the building. The Friendship Centre will try and co-ordinate those services with the tenants. It’s not going to be a requirement of a tenant to participate in services, but we’re certainly going to encourage people.”
Wachiay will be the tenant for six of the units, which they will sublet to clients. The other tenants will be selected via application to M’akola.
“We’re not going to have a problem finding tenants,” Kishi said, noting 34 units is “barely scratching the surface” of the local homelessness situation.
BC Housing has provided nearly $4.7 million for the project, which was originally planned for Cliffe Avenue across from Courtenay City Hall. In 2010, the regional district had purchased a trio of lots for $470,000 for emergency shelter/supportive housing purposes, but some neighboring businesses did not like the idea. The CVRD then transferred ownership of the properties to the City, which later purchased the Braidwood property for $264,500.