B.C. Premier John Horgan announced an additional $8.6 million for an expanded affordable seniors housing project to be constructed on Buttertubs Drive when he visited the Nanaimo Affordable Seniors Housing Society’s George R. Pearks dining hall Monday morning. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

B.C. premier John Horgan announces additional $8.6 million for Nanaimo affordable seniors housing project

Six-storey affordable housing project planned for Buttertubs Drive expected to open in 2020

A proposed affordable housing project in Nanaimo will receive millions of dollars from the provincial government.

The Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society has been planning to construct a six-storey seniors housing complex on 10 Buttertubs Dr. for more than two years now. Originally, the project was expected provide anywhere from 140 to 150 units, with funding coming from B.C. Housing.

However, construction has still not started despite the previous Liberal government committing $8.5 million toward the project in 2016.

On Monday, July 9, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the Buttertubs project will receive an additional $8.6 million in funding from his government and that there will now be 159 units.

Horgan, who made the announcement at the General George R. Pearkes senior housing dining hall, said while the previous government committed more than $8 million toward the Buttertubs project, there hasn’t been much hope over the years in terms of affordable housing in Nanaimo, but there is now.

“For too long we did not have hope like this,” Horgan said.

Once completed, the building is intended to provide secure affordable housing for seniors. Each floor will have laundry services and there will be indoor and outdoor areas for dining and socializing. Rental rates are anticipated to be anywhere from $706 a month to $1,147 a month, depending on the size of the units.

Horgan said there is no “magic wand” to fix all the issues of affordable housing right away, but his government is committed to making life more affordable for those in need.

“We cannot wave a stick and make life better for people, but we can get up each and every day and make sure that every effort we make is in the best interest of the community,” Horgan said.

Although construction was originally expected to begin in 2017, it is now expected to start in 2018 and be completed by 2020. The project is a partnership between B.C. Housing, the City of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society.


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