A much-needed seniors housing facility in Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island that has been in the works for a number of years has finally received its development permit from the Strathcona Regional District (SRD).
The Quadra Island Seniors Housing Society received the approval for the 16-unit facility to be located on Harper Road at last week’s SRD board meeting.
Director Jim Abram, who represents the Discovery Islands and Mainland Inlets on the SRD board, says getting to the point in the process where they could finally issue a development permit has been “an incredible journey.”
“This is a bonus for our entire region, including the big island,” Abram says. “There will now be spaces not taken up on the big island because they’ll be taken up on Quadra. My congratulations once again to the seniors housing society, all the volunteers who have worked on it, the designers, the consultants, and everybody.”
Housing, Abram says, is one area where Quathiaski Cove is lacking, and says this development will be “an anchor,” in helping accomplish what he calls, “one of the major tenets of our local area plan for the Quathiaski Cove area.”
Maureen McDowell, president of the Quadra Circle Community Connections Society, told the Mirror in 2015 when they were trying to help secure a location for a possible facility, that the seniors housing situation on Quadra was getting dire.
“There’s a huge housing crunch for seniors – especially the low to moderate income ones,” she said, adding that they wanted to come up with a facility that wouldn’t be based on a “nursing home” model, but something that “is integrated within the wider community.”
After the development permit was issued last week, McDowell said she’s “really excited – and somewhat amazed – that a small group of seniors have made this happen.
“Donations have now surpassed $200,000 thanks to Quadra Islanders’ enthusiastic support. This will help reduce the mortgage we will carry in order to repay BC Housing’s funding,” McDowell says. “Now our consultants can work on detailed design development plans to meet BC Housing’s green design and efficiency guidelines,” adding she hopes the construction can begin in July, “and we’ll have a building ready for tenants by April, 2019.”