Evergreen Acres' Phase 4 units are nearing completion, but construction equipment and fencing can still seen along the property. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)

Evergreen Acres receives government funding for Phase 5

An announcement of hundreds of new affordable rental homes came from the Government of British Columbia Dec. 2, saying more than 600 homes are on the way through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.

Sixteen projects were selected, including Phase 5 at Evergreen Acres, which will go towards building another 20 units in the complex.

In September, the Evergreen Acres Seniors Housing Society applied for the Building BC grant. A presentation was made to District of Clearwater council in October by the EASHS, asking for exemption from connection fees to sewer and water, as well as a waive of the development costs for the Phase 5 project.

Council passed the recommendation to support 100 per cent exemption of those fees at the Oct. 6 regular council meeting.

Phase 4, which added 20 units to the previous 31-unit seniors complex, is nearing completion, as some folks moved in Nov. 30, according to the EASHS Facebook page. Funding for the project came from the Wells Gray Community Forest, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and a low interest loan through BC Housing.

The EASHS had a waiting list of 38 as of Oct. 16. According to a staff report, of the 20 units to be filled this fall, at least 14 properties will be vacated, opening much-needed housing in the community.

At the following regular meeting on Oct. 27, council voted in favour of a recommendation brought forward from the Wells Gray Community Forest Commission, to support a financial contribution of $300,000 to build an amenity building on site along with Phase 5.

Councillor Barry Banford said the the current hall is too small to house the growing population of Evergreen Acres. The new hall will be able to house meetings and have kitchen equipment.

A few of the councillors have had tours of the new Phase 4 buildings and gave rave reviews. Council voted in favour of the funding recommendation.

The Times reached out to EASHS for comment, but general manager Kate Cullinane declined to commenet at this time.

The Community Housing Fund is part of the province’s 10-year, $7 billion housing plan.

“These projects will mean new, affordable homes for a wide range of people — from seniors on fixed incomes to growing families and people with disabilities,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “There’s a lot more to do, and I look forward to working with the non-profit housing sector and all our partners to continue delivering the homes people need.”

Approximately 3,000 new affordable homes are expected to be funded this intake (open until mid-January 2021) — the second since 2017. The first seven projects funded through this intake were announced in September 2020.

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The Evergreen Acres Seniors Housing Society (EASHS) held the sod turning for its expansion project on Nov. 15, 2019. Pictured (l-r): Pearl McAloney, chair of EASHS, Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ken Kjenstad, chair of the Wells Gray Community Forest, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, and former mayor of Clearwater, John Harwood. Photo by Jaime Polmateer

The Evergreen Acres Seniors Housing Society (EASHS) held the sod turning for its expansion project on Nov. 15, 2019. Pictured (l-r): Pearl McAloney, chair of EASHS, Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ken Kjenstad, chair of the Wells Gray Community Forest, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, and former mayor of Clearwater, John Harwood. Photo by Jaime Polmateer

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