Nanaimo non-profit buys city property for a dollar

NANAIMO – The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre will purchase city property for a new affordable housing project.

The transfer of city land for an affordable housing project was critical, according to Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre executive director Chris Beaton, who was pleased and excited by the political decision to sell property on Bowen Road.

Nanaimo politicians agreed to sell 0.4 hectares on Bowen Road for a dollar to the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, which plans to build an estimated $5.6-million affordable housing project. Council also agreed at an open meeting Monday to a public hearing to remove a covenant on the title.

The land at 1406 Bowen Rd. was slated for one of five supportive housing complexes for the city’s homeless and will now be the site of a 25-unit project for families, elders and youth transitioning from being in care to independent living. Ownership of property was a requirement of B.C. Housing, considered the likely funder for the project, according to Beaton.

“Everything tells us that there’s a tremendous need for affordable housing in this city and in particular for the urban aboriginal community which is over represented in almost any issue related to poverty,” said Beaton.

Council was unanimous about selling the property and agreeing to enter into an option to purchase agreement that will allow the city to buy back the property for a dollar if construction doesn’t begin by April 4, 2019.

Coun. Wendy Pratt said the project targets aboriginal students who are coming from out of town and other communities and have struggled with getting the support they need for housing in Nanaimo – often leaving families behind. The project will allow them to bring their families with them and focus on the task at hand, which is getting a good education, she said.

Coun. Bill Yoachim called it a bold and just move and the right thing to do.

“I am proud to be part of a council that’s forward thinking, especially in the era of reconciliation,” he said.

The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre will seek more than $4 million in capital from B.C. Housing, but does not plan to tap into ongoing subsidies or operating grants for support staff.

Beaton believes they can address the needs of tenants through collaboration with other non-profits.

Just Posted

No guarantee tents will be taken down at city hall

City council approved $350,000 in social spending at Monday’s meeting

City of Nanaimo files response to lawsuit from facilitator

City claims Integrity Group was never actually hired to conduct work

Business owner with baseball bat chases away would-be robber

Incident happened Saturday afternoon at Super Save Gas on Wakesiah Avenue

Jingle Pot Road closed after head-on crash

Two sport-utility vehicles collided Monday at about 2:30 p.m. near Shady Mile Way

Jingle Pot Road closed after head-on crash

Two sport-utility vehicles collided Monday at about 2:30 p.m. near Shady Mile Way

Nighttime construction starting at Northfield intersection

City of Nanaimo provides update on project at Northfield, Boundary and old Island Highway

Former City of Nanaimo manager makes human rights complaint about his firing

Brad McRae, ex-chief operations officer, looking to be reinstated with municipality

Murder charges upgraded for B.C. man accused of killing wife and daughters

Crown approved new information on Jacob Forman’s file

Janet Austin announced as B.C.’s new lieutenant governor

Austin has served as YWCA Metro Vancouver CEO since 2003

Ex-French president Sarkozy in custody on Gadhafi claims

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed in custody as part of an investigation that he received millions of euros in illegal financing

Hockey pioneer Kwong dies at 94

Vernon’s Larry Kwong was the first player to break NHL colour barrier in 1948

How Facebook likes could profile voters for manipulation

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica, a data-analysis firm worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign

Most Read