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Affordable housing project announced for Vernon

An artist’s concept of what a new, affordable housing project, called Thunderbird Manor, in Vernon will look like. Submitted

The federal government is partnering with the province of B.C., the City of Vernon and the Vernon Native Housing Society to fund a new housing project in Vernon.

The project, called Thunderbird Manor, is part of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) created in May 2018.

The building will have 38 rental units that will provide homes for indigenous elders, people with accessibility challenges and families living off-reserve.

Another angle of what Thunderbird Manor will look like. Submitted

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Without this partnership between CMHC, B.C. Housing and Vernon Native Housing Society (VNHS), this project would not have come to fruition,” said VNHS president Valerie Chiba.

“Vernon Native Housing Society is very pleased to have this opportunity to house our elders, persons with accessibility challenges and aboriginal families. And we look forward to bringing our partnership with B.C. Housing to another level as we continue our mandate of providing low-cost rental housing to low-income individuals of native and non-native ancestry.”

An overhead view of Thunderbird Manor. Submitted

A non-profit organization, VNHS was established in 1989. It provides low-cost rental housing to low-income families and individuals, including First Nations people residing in Vernon.

The federal government announced it will be spending $2.27 million, while the provincial government will be providing $7.9 million.

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“We appreciate the federal government’s contribution to this much-needed affordable housing project,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Partnerships like this are key to addressing the housing crisis in British Columbia.

“I look forward to seeing the positive difference this development will make to the indigenous families who call it home.”

According to the federal government:

  • The project cost is approximately $10 million.
  • 20 of the 38 units will be affordable, with rental rates at 80 per cent of the median market rents in the area.
  • The NHCF, which has a reported budget of $13.2 billion, gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, veterans and young adults.
  • Through the NHCF, the federal government will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
  • Investments are also planned in the NHCF to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new, affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.

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