Renovations planned for a social housing complex in the community will offer safer, more comfortable housing for more than 100 people, as well as job opportunities for people who face employment barriers due to poverty or disability.
“People living in social housing deserve safe, secure and energy efficient homes,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “These upgrades mean people will have a better quality of housing at a rent they can afford, so they will be able to stay in their homes and in our community.”
Renovations at Washington Inn Apartments are funded through the Province’s Capital Renewal Fund.
The Province is providing approximately $4.7 million in capital costs associated with the renovation project.
Improvements include installation of a sprinkler system, as well as mechanical and interior upgrades, such as kitchen and bathroom renewals.
A social enterprise, CleanStart, has been hired by BC Housing to begin work at Washington Apartments in July 2019. They will help residents prepare for their move, pack unit contents and provide building janitorial services.
“CleanStart is providing an opportunity for people to learn employable skills, while being involved in housing supports in their communities,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These projects and partnerships are essential to reducing poverty in B.C. through the creation of stronger, more affordable communities that provide people with better opportunities for their families.”
Residents will move in phases into vacant units in the building, while work is conducted on their own units. After the renovations are complete, residents will move back into their own units.
“We’re delighted to assist BC Housing with this exciting renovation project, particularly because it allows us to provide some great social employment opportunities in the area,” said Luke Coad, business development manager, CleanStart. “If anyone is interested in working with CleanStart on this project, we would love to hear from them.”
Renovations are expected to be completed by spring 2020.
The Record has reached out to BC Housing for more information.