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Posted: January 31, 2020

New Pioneer Lodges project opening celebrated

Low-income families in Kimberley now have access to 12 new affordable homes as a result of a partnership between the B.C. Government, the Government of Canada, the Columbia Basin Trust and the Kimberley Seniors Project Society.

Located at 630 Church Ave., New Pioneer Lodges was completed in November 2019 and includes six two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units. The Kimberley Seniors Project Society owns and operates the project.

Funding for the project was provided by the following:

* The Government of Canada, through CMHC. The province jointly contributed $1.6 million through the Social Infrastructure Fund.

* The Province and Columbia Basin Trust provided $657,000 through the Columbia Basin Investment in Affordable Housing program.

* The Province also provided a grant of $100,000 through the Housing Endowment Fund and provided construction financing.

* Columbia Basin Trust provided an additional $250,000 for the project.

* Kimberley Seniors Project Society provided the land.

A special celebration was held this morning in the Lions Hall across from the housing project, with Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for Columbia Basin Trust and MLA for Kootenay West on hand along with Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok, Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, City of Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick (also representing Columbia Basin Trust), city Coun. Sandra Roberts, Kimberley Seniors Project Society members, New Dawn Developments and New Pioneer Lodges residents.

“No one should have to leave their community because they can’t find an affordable place to call home,” said Minister Conroy. “This housing project will provide new opportunities, security and peace of mind for families in Kimberley. We are proud to be working in partnership to build thousands of homes like these for people throughout the province.”

Rick Rausch, president of the Kimberley Seniors Project Society addresses the gathering in the Lions Hall this morning. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photo

Mayor McCormick praised the efforts of the Kimberley Seniors Project Society, which has worked diligently for almost four years to make the project happen.

“Kimberley Seniors Project Society has been in this for the long haul. There has been a long-standing need in Kimberley for affordable housing for low-income families. The completion of this project is a good start towards meeting this need,” said Rick Rausch, president, Kimberley Seniors Project Society.

Families started moving into their new homes in December 2019. Monthly rents are $750 per month for a two-bedroom unit and $850 per month for a three-bedroom unit.

One resident, speaking anonymously, said she is appreciative of the housing opportunity and what it has brought to Kimberley.

“It’s turning into a little community,” she said.

“It’s exciting to see 12 families be able to access these new homes, which are a vital addition to the range of housing options in Kimberley. Congratulations to all who partnered on this project, including the governments of Canada and B.C. and the Kimberley Seniors Project Society. Together, we’re improving the quality of life in the Columbia Basin,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and chief executive officer, Columbia Basin Trust.

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” stated Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in a media release. “This is why we are pleased to announce the official opening of the New Pioneer Lodge, which adds 12 new affordable rental homes that will serve as a foundation for the families here to grow and flourish in the community. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project a reality.”

Lead image: Dignitaries, including Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for Columbia Basin Trust (fourth from left) and City of Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick and Kimberley Seniors Project Society members unveil the sign for the New Pioneer Lodges this morning (Jan. 31) in Kimberley. Photos courtesy Heather Smith

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