Housing fund helps cover project costs

Nanaimo’s latest housing project for the homeless will carry the largest off-site-servicing bill for the city, according to social planner John Horn.

Nanaimo city officials recently agreed to spend $320,000 from the Housing Legacy Reserve Fund to pay for off-site works and services tied in with the new supportive housing project on Boundary Crescent.

Paying for off-site services at supportive housing initiatives is nothing new for the City of Nanaimo, which inked a deal with the province in 2006 that mandates it to get sites development-ready. But the latest tally of off-site works and services will be the most expensive thanks to the slope of the site and its setback from the road, says Horn, who pegs the cost at just over $300,000.

“Dufferin will be more expensive than Wesley or 10th street or Uplands or Bowen Road – any of the sites we have done this for. It’s a tricky property,” Horn said, adding it requires more work than usual.

The Boundary Crescent project – also referred to as the Dufferin supportive housing complex – is waiting on building permit approval. It will provide 35 housing units and be the fourth project to break ground since the city signed a memorandum of agreement with the B.C. government in 2006 to develop 160 units of housing for the homeless.

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