A low-income housing project is complete and open to its first tenants. The Uplands Road facility caused controversy when it was announced by the provincial government.

Supportive housing development sees first tenants inside

NANAIMO – Uplands Drive, a 33-unit supportive housing complex, is complete and now accepting new tenants.

A newly opened supportive housing complex won’t have the negative effect on the area that some imagine, according to Pacifica Housing executive director Karyn French.

The first tenants have moved into Uplands Walk, a multimillion-dollar, 33-unit supportive housing building in north Nanaimo.

It has been three years since the B.C. government first announced the site would be part of a $34-million strategy to house Nanaimo’s mentally ill and homeless population.

It was controversial then, even becoming an election issue in 2011 as groups like Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo debated the merits of housing the homeless in a residential neighbourhood. But French had sensed a turnaround last year when the project broke ground.

Today, she acknowledges there’s still apprehension and concern, including about property value and increased crime.

“We are seeing a little bit more negativity than I anticipated at this stage, but they [area residents] really have to see it and experience it,” said French.

“People imagine it to be a lot different than what it is. It really is just another apartment building.”

The Uplands Drive supportive housing apartments were finished in late November and won’t be completely full for another two or three months, according to French.

The building, which reportedly came under its $7.3-million construction budget, will cost new residents $435 a month for a self-contained bachelor studio. The building also has staff 24 hours a day, amenities like a bocce ball court and focuses on life-skill development.

It’s all aimed at preparing people should they be ready to move into a building without social supports.

B.C. Housing will hold an official opening this January, when it will announce the total cost of the project.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s new NightOwls baseball team announces first player signings

Four NCAA Div. 1 players, three of them Canadians, added to roster

Best of the City: Breathe easy

Modo Yoga wins Best Yoga Studio category during challenging time for health and wellness businesses

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mask rules inconsistent

Letter writer says he won’t pay fine for violating COVID-19 Related Measures Act

Nanaimo school district sees ‘unprecedented’ increase in distance-ed students

School District 68 hires teachers to support distance learning and transition program pupils

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don’t party in a pandemic

Why are people holding parties when they know it is a health risk, asks letter writer

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Best of the City: This year’s winners

Nanaimo News Bulletin presents full results of our 2020 Best of the City readers’ survey

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Best of the City: Greek taverna takes top spot

Asteras in the Old City Quarter chosen Nanaimo’s Best Restaurant Overall

Nanaimo parents say elementary schools aren’t appropriate voting stations in a pandemic

Elections B.C. says site of polling stations not yet determined, working with Dr. Henry’s office

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

MLA in a pandemic, Nanaimo’s Malcolmson looking to be part of B.C.’s recovery

Sheila Malcolmson running for re-election in Nanaimo riding

Most Read