Kootenay Society for Community Living is asking the city to donate lots to build a multi-unit 5,800 square foot residential group home in Castlegar.
The society appeared before city council Tuesday to provide an update on the project. The property in question is already owned by the city and consists of 861, 867 and 873 8th Ave.
The project budget is currently set at $1.57 million. If approved, most of the funding would come from BC Housing, which is currently reviewing the application. The society is seeking additional funding from the Columbia Basin Trust’s community initiatives and affected area programs, RDCK Areas I and J and would mortgage the remaining balance.
The home will be a two story community care facility that will support 24/7 residential care on the top floor and affordable housing on the bottom floor. The new home will house a total of ten residents. The building plan is based on a similar project in Fort St. John that has already proven to work well.
Kootenay Society for Community Living executive director Kathleen Elias explained: “We support individuals with developmental disabilities as well as other individuals that just require affordable housing. So we thought, let’s combine it.”
According to Elias and a 2013 needs and demands study, there is a great need for this type of housing in Castlegar. Elias reported all of their nine current homes are filled to capacity and that they have had to rent an additional home. The spaces in the new units would be filled immediately upon completion. The society would like to begin building this summer.
The society currently assists 110 adults and 20 children. They maintain homes in Castlegar, Trail, Grand Forks, Creston and Nelson.
Elias concluded: “We are really hoping the city supports us, they have supported us in the past. We have a residential senior home that they did work with us on. We have a good working relationship with the City of Castlegar and I am hoping that we can do it again.”