With the demand for affordable housing higher than ever, Kootenay Savings Credit Union has generously committed $10,000 towards the development of affordable housing units on the site of the former Beaver Valley Middle School, located in Fruitvale.
The Fruitvale Affordable Housing Project is a partnership between the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society (Society) and the Village of Fruitvale.
The new build will offer 31 units of varied affordable housing with the goal of construction being completed in early 2025.
“Until recently, the project was projected to be fully funded by BC Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust,” the Society said. “However, with construction costs and interest rates rising, additional funding was required to make the project a reality, and the local credit union didn’t hesitate to step-up and offer their support.”
Immediately adjacent the housing, the village is also constructing a new community childcare centre.
The middle school property was purchased by the village in two separate acquisitions; the first through a court-ordered sale in 2018 and the second parcel for $149,000 the following year.
The village now owns the full block — or 3.7-hectares of land — between Columbia Gardens Road and Green Road. The old school will remain standing as new construction goes up nearer Columbia Gardens Road and on the school’s old parking lot.
For a timeline on the affordable housing complex and child care centre builds, the Trail Times contacted Mayor Steve Morissette.
“’Phase one’ is the piece of property adjoining Columbia Gardens Road in front of the old school and does not require demolition of the school,” he clarified. “The affordable housing building and the child care centre are separate projects, side by side, on ‘Phase one’ on the former middle school property.”
The 37-seat child care centre — 12 infant-toddler seats and 25 toddler to kindergarten seats — will be built alongside Columbia Gardens Road, and is planned to be the first to break ground this spring.
“The three storey affordable housing complex will be built behind it closer to the old school but still on the parking lot in front of the school,” Morissette explained. “The affordable housing complex is tentatively scheduled to break ground in the early fall this year.”
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