As a result of federal and provincial investments, a new program, the Affordable Rental Housing initiative (ARHi), will soon be available in the Columbia Basin region for households in need. Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has also partnered with the Province in this initiative to deliver essential affordable rental housing.
Through the Canada-British Columbia Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are providing a combined investment of $5 million over three years to support new affordable rental housing projects in communities across the Columbia Basin. Through a separate funding agreement with the Province, CBT is contributing a further $5 million to this initiative.
“Our government is committed to developing and implementing local solutions to local housing challenges,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Minister Responsible for British Columbia on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “Through this new program, seniors and families of Columbia Basin will have access to affordable rental housing that meets their needs.”
“This is a wonderful announcement for our region,” said Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East. “Columbia Basin Trust is such an important player in all of our communities and it is gratifying to see the Province working so well and so collaboratively with CBT on such an important issue.”
Details on how to apply for the Affordable Rental Housing initiative and request for proposals for the procurement of potential affordable rental housing projects will be available in Spring 2012.
There will be a number of information sessions in the Columbia Basin to provide more background on what submissions should include to be considered for funding under the Initiative. The sessions will take place the third week of April, and will be coming to Nakusp Community Arena at 9 a.m. on April 23. Sessions will also be held nearby in Revelstoke at 2 p.m. at the Community Centre the same day and on April 27 in Castlegar at the Fireside Inn at 1 p.m.
“Our partnership with the provincial government represents a unique opportunity for CBT to help address a priority issue for a number of Basin communities,” said Garry Merkel, CBT board chair. “We’re excited this partnership can help communities make affordable rental housing projects a reality.”