The former Travelodge on the Old Island Highway will be converted into social housing after the province bought it for $5.1 million.
The building will provide 40 units of housing for low-income individuals, individuals who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness and for people who suffer from mental-health and substance abuse issues, a BC Housing press release says.
M’akola Housing Society will own and operate the building.
This is one of 18 projects funded to the tune of $65 million in the province to support the purchase and renovation of 364 units of affordable rentalhousing for low-to-moderate individuals with mental-health or substance-abuse issues. The 18 projects will be operated by non-profit societies in each community. The investment comes as part of the new Mental Health Housing program announced earlier this year.
The City of Campbell River issued a press release about the former Travelodge purchase saying this affordable housing project is for singles and couples whose income falls within the housing income limits for Campbell River. The city says this building will not operate as a shelter or supportive housing, and units will not be available for families with children.
“We will work with the city to develop a framework to ensure building operations complement the inclusive vision of the city’s Sustainable Official Community Plan,” says Kevin Albers, Chief Executive Officer of M’akola Housing Society. “We will also meet with residents in the neighbouring condominiums over the next few weeks to review our plans and will be keeping them updated as to our progress.”
The city is looking at this purchase as being compatible with multi-agency efforts being conducted in Campbell River to expand social services in the city.
“Housing is the first priority for low-income families and for people at risk of being homeless, and the city has advocated for years for additional funding for affordable housing,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “Campbell River’s Sustainable Official Community Plan aims to establish diverse and supportive housing options throughout the community, to ensure housing is available for people struggling with affordability, and, for an even more vulnerable group, to provide emergency shelter.”
The Travelodge purchase is beginning to generate a buzz in the city with the Campbell River Mirror office having already received inquiries about the project.
The M’akola Group of Societies describes itself as the largest Aboriginal affordable housing provider in British Columbia serving more than 5,000 family members.
M’akola offers a variety of housing to suit the needs of applicants and tenants. It offers family housing in townhouse complexes, apartment buildings and single family dwellings. M’akola also offers housing geared to singles and couples and has two assisted living facilities for our Elders and seniors.
M’akola manages more than 1,600 homes serving both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.