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Castlegar Receives Support for 68-unit Housing Project on Columbia Avenue

Earlier today, the Province of British Columbia announced the City’s housing project, located at 925 Columbia Avenue, received support through B.C. Housing’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund.

The Community Housing Fund was created to increase the supply of purpose-built rental units for low to middle-income families. In 2023, the City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a Housing & Healthcare project which will see improved team-based healthcare and the construction of a new four-storey mixed-use building with up to 68 new non-market housing units. Lu’ma Native Housing Society applied for this funding and will serve as the operator for the housing component of this project.

“Through our Homes for People action plan, we’re accelerating housing supply across the province to meet the diverse needs of people,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Whether you live in a big city or a remote coastal village, access to affordable and suitable housing is important in forming strong communities. That is why we are working in partnership to ensure homes are built for people in the communities they call home.”

“Building more affordable homes not only makes life better for the new residents who will move in – it also makes the entire community stronger and more resilient,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “When people have a safe and stable place to live, they can contribute to a thriving community.”

“Like most communities, Castlegar is in a housing crisis, and we need an additional 464 housing units to meet the growing demand for smaller, more affordable, housing units suitable for seniors, young families, and those finding it difficult to enter the housing market,” said City of Castlegar Mayor, Maria McFaddin. “This support is great news for Castlegar and helps the City deliver Council’s strategic priority of creating a future with affordable homes for all.”

This project will be constructed on City-owned land where the Pioneer Arena is currently located. In 2016, the Regional District of Central Kootenay identified the Pioneer Arena was nearing its end of life and a potential closure was imminent. With the Pioneer Arena at its end of life, it was an appropriate time for the City to consider possible opportunities for the land to meet Castlegar’s growth.

With the housing component of the City’s Healthcare & Housing project now a reality, the City will work with the project team to determine an expected start date for the housing project.

Depending on the expected start date, the Pioneer Arena may not reopen for the 2024/25 season. The Regional District of Central Kootenay will continue working with ice user groups to identify options to ensure they have ample time to prepare if that is the case.

The City would like to acknowledge the generous financial contribution from the provincial government, through BC Housing, to make this important project a reality.

View the Ministry of Housing’s announcement at:

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