An affordable housing project has been proposed for the site of the former Port Alberni Youth Centre.
The Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society—whose board is made up of Ahousaht First Nation members—has proposed demolishing the currently vacant building on Cedarwood Street and developing the site with affordable rental housing.
The proposal includes a four-storey building with 35 dwelling units, ranging from studios to four-bedroom units.
Because the site is designated as institutional, instead of residential, the Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society is applying for an amendment to the city’s Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw.
Price Leurebourg, the city’s development planner, told council during a meeting on May 9 that the application is “consistent with the surrounding neighbourhood,” which includes some residential dwellings and park space.
An open house took place on Aug. 4. The nearby business Circle Dairy noted that their business operations begin at 4 a.m., but the Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society has determined that this will not be a nuisance to residents due to the level of insulation planned for the building.
The former youth centre site is being provided to Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society by the city, and the project is funded by BC Housing.
“We are very proud, as a city, to be contributing land to this project,” said Mayor Sharie Minions. “And really grateful to the Ahousaht First Nation for bringing this concept forward.”
Council gave three readings to the proposed amendments on May 9. A public hearing for the development will take place on Tuesday, May 31 at 6 p.m. in council chambers.