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New affordable housing complex near Rose Harbour gets its development permit

Building will contain 55 housing units for women and children with commercial space on ground floor
Conceptual drawing of the new Eagle Harbour affordable housing complex coming to downtown Campbell River for women and children. Image from City of Campbell River staff report

The City of Campbell River has issued the development permit for another affordable housing facility to be built behind Rose Harbour downtown.

The city and the province, through BC Housing, are working together to create 55 new and much-needed affordable rental housing units for women and their children. The mixed-use building approved at the April 26 meeting of city council includes larger units for women and children, accessible units for senior women and a ground floor commercial space.

The proposed apartments will be located on properties owned by BC Housing close to Rose Harbour, including a lot that the city donated to the project at 1180 Fir Street. BC Housing is providing approximately $19.7 million in capital costs for the project through the Women’s Transition Housing Fund, as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $550,000. The City is also making significant financial contributions by covering the cost of all city-related development fees and charges.

“Council is very pleased to continue the partnership with the North Island Transition Society that created the vision for Rose Harbour in 2012 and now provides more affordable and diverse housing options in Campbell River,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “Our strong relationship with BC Housing and community partners is helping to deliver safe, affordable rental housing that’s in high demand.”

Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (Transition Society), which manages Rose Harbour, will also manage the new building.

RELATED: Rose Harbour planning for more housing

The society has a long, successful history of operating Rose Harbor and Ann Elmore House, providing emergency shelter and transitional housing for women and children fleeing violence. This building offers tenants more independence along with the benefit of Transition Society support and programming.

“The Transition Society has been supporting women and children in Campbell River for 34 years,” says Valery Putz, Executive Director of the Transition Society. “We are very pleased to be able to expand the housing and support services we can offer from emergency shelter, and transitional housing to include more permanent affordable housing options. There is a serious need for this type of housing, and we are very grateful for the support from the City of Campbell River and BC Housing.”

Rose Harbour has had a significant waitlist since opening in 2013, with 60 households on the list in 2020.

Part of the challenge has always been a low supply of affordable housing for families ready to leave Rose Harbour. Eagle Harbour will help fill that housing gap, according to the city release on the project, which adds the mixed-use development also supports direction in the Official Community Plan to bring more people living within walking distance of downtown, services, amenities and having ready access to transit.

“It’s encouraging to see our housing partners come together to make sure there is more safe, appropriate, supportive and affordable housing for women and children in our community,” says Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “Our government remains committed to building homes like these across the province so that women and their children who have fled violence are given a realistic chance to stabilize, heal and move towards self-sufficiency with strength and determination.”

RELATED: Affordable housing for women and children coming to downtown Campbell River

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