Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. Image from Daily Hive

The Government of British Columbia is partnering with M’akola Housing Society and Wachiay Friendship Centre Society to build 35 affordable, supportive homes for people who are at risk of homelessness, including Indigenous peoples, in Courtenay.

“These homes are desperately needed as people in our community have been struggling for too long to afford housing,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This project will make a significant difference for the people who will call it home. The Province will continue to work with community partners to get more projects like this off the ground to help British Columbians in need.”

M’akola Housing Society and Wachiay Friendship Centre Society are the non-profit operators. They will provide safe, affordable housing with supports such as outreach and counselling, to help people have successful tenancies.

“We are honoured to be working in partnership with BC Housing, the Wachiay Friendship Centre and the City of Courtenay on this much-needed and community supported affordable housing project, which will be located on the Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation,” said Kevin Albers, CEO of M’akola Development Services and M’akola Housing Society. “Affordable housing is a priority to this community and this project along with the strong support received is to be celebrated. Our teams are excited to be the development consultants and property managers for these 35 new purpose-built homes in the City of Courtenay.”

Located at 810 Braidwood Rd., the project will consist of a three-storey, wood-framed building with a mix of studios and one-bedroom units, a common room and office space. All of the units will have a four-piece bathroom and a kitchen.

“Wachiay Friendship Centre is proud to be involved with the M’akola Group of Societies to provide safe, affordable homes for Indigenous families and people living in our community,” said Michael Colclough, executive director, Wachiay Friendship Centre Society.

Six of the units will be rented at the provincial shelter rate of $375 per month. Rents for the other units will range from approximately $580 to $760 per month, helping low-income people with the housing they need.

“This project has been years in the making, and I am delighted that construction is underway,” said Larry Jangula, mayor, City of Courtenay. “This facility will help address the serious need for safe and secure affordable housing for vulnerable members of our community. We thank the Province of British Columbia for their generous funding towards this project and all of the project partners and agencies that have worked together to make this project a reality.”

The new building is expected to be ready for occupancy by February 2019.

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