LRCA Affordable Housing Project: Facts for you

LRCA Affordable Housing Project: Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for  information about the LRCA Affordable Housing Project?

This page feature answers to our most frequently asked questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Community Housing Fund (CHF) is a BC Housing funding program launched in April 2018 to fill a need for new rental housing units for independent seniors, families, and persons with disabilities.  The program provides mixed income projects, with rents affordable for a range of low to moderate-income households.

 

In September 2018 the LRCA Board of Directors and a number of internal committees at that time, including the Supported Housing Committee, made the decision to submit a proposal in response to the BC Housing CHF Request for Proposal. When subsequently approved, the LRCA accepted the Terms and Conditions of the CHF program.

There are a total of 36 homes:

  • 4 studio units
  • 27 one-bedroom units
  • 5 two-bedroom units

 

This distribution of unit types was determined by looking at community need

As a BC Housing CHF project, the rental structure is as follows:

 

  • 20% of units (7 homes) at the provincial assistance rate of $375 a month, available to applicants who are on income assistance, disability, or seniors on a basic pension.
    Deep Subsidy Income Limits (CHF projects):
    a) For residential units with less than two (2) bedrooms, a gross household income that does not exceed the maximum Old Age Security (OAS) plus Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) amount, as determined by BC Housing from time to time.  For 2022, this figure is $21,946 (compared to $19,813 last year).
    b) For residential units with two (or more bedrooms, a gross household income that does not exceed the maximum income threshold based on the income that would be required to pay  30% of income equal to the maximum shelter rate for a 3 person household, as determined by by BC Housing from time to time.  For 2022, this figure is $26,600 (compared to $26,400 last year).
  • 50% of units (18 homes) with 'rent geared to income' (RGI) where rent is 30% of the tenant's gross monthly income. Maximum income limits apply.
  • 30% of units (11 homes) at or near market rent, with rents to be determined closer to the building opening. Maximum income limits apply

 

 

 

 

 

As a CHF project, The Heart on the Hill is mixed income rental that will house individuals with a wide range of ages, incomes, and abilities. This ensures diversity and helps build community.

 

The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) will own and operate the Heart on the Hill building.

The project’s capital budget (including construction) and operating budgets are tied to the building’s monthly mortgage payments. While separate from the day-to-day operations of the LRCA programs, the LRCA is financially and legally bound to the executed agreements.

 

BC Housing requires the building to be operationally sustainable and completes extensive financial reviews during the project design/development phase as well as conducts on-going annual financial reviews and periodically operational reviews

 

The target group for the Buller Street project is “seniors, individuals with disabilities and families.” Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are included in the category of “persons with disabilities.”

The LRCA has been working in good faith with advocates from the SHC for nearly a year on their requests. During the course of those communications, as a courtesy, the Board provided a draft analysis showing the costs of operating 1/3 of the units. This was not an offer. Resident selection decisions cannot be made until the building receives its occupancy permit and eligible applicants will be reviewed in accordance with the fully executed Operating Agreement.  Resident selection will be made based on the applications received and is contingent on the Community Housing Fund framework and Operating Agreement.

We want to stress that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities may apply for any of the units at the Heart on the Hill Building without the need for these motions. The three groups with priority are: persons with disabilities, seniors, and families. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are “persons with disabilities” and already have priority with eligible seniors and families.

 

As a BC Housing CHF project, the Heart on the Hill was designed as an affordable independent living building.  While it is expected that some residents of the building may utilize LRCA’s nearby services such as the food bank, counselling, soup kitchen, income tax preparation etc., the building will not have 24/7 staff and tenant supports are not provided or funded.

Anyone can apply for the housing but current residents of Ladysmith will be prioritized. Applicants for Deep Subsidy and Rent Geared to Income homes must apply online at the BC Housing Registry. Those interested in living in the market rent units can apply to the LRCA. (Rents for those units will be determined closer to the building opening).

To apply for the subsidized units (i.e., the shelter-rate or rent-geared-to-income homes) please contact BC Housing Applicant Services at 604-433-22218 or 1-800-257-7756 (toll-free), 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).

Or you may also apply online:  HERE

LRCA staff will also be available to support you in completing an application form.

There are a number of factors that impact the size of a building, and which were taken into consideration including the size of the lot, City zoning, the ability for LRCA to carry the mortgage, etc.

 

There are eight one-bedroom units that are fully wheelchair accessible with lowered countertops, light switches, and controls, plus larger than typical hallways, etc. There are also 19 adaptable one-bedroom units that can be efficiently and inexpensively modified as per tenants needs.

There is an on-site parking lot with 18 spaces as well as 11 dedicated street parking spaces along Third Avenue.

 

Two spaces are dedicated to disabled parking permits: one in the parking lot, and one among the street parking.

 

 

Inquiring Little Minds Daycare children learn about construction on LRCA affordable housing site

LADYSMITH – If you’re going to study construction for a month, you might as well see it up front, children from Inquiring Little Minds Daycare learned Aug. 4 when Kinetic Construction Ltd. temporarily closed its site for the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) affordable housing development.

Picture of site supervisor Cliff LeBeau Kinetic site supervisor Cliff LeBeau said it was an honour to have the children learn about safety and the machinery and roles each construction worker plays.  “It was excellent and I was impressed so many of our young visitors were so well educated already,” he said.

Daycare supervisor Nicole Salonen said a crew of 15 youngsters were enjoying construction-themed studies during the month, and “it is amazing Kinetic took the time to show the construction site and explain the processes and machinery for the project” which will feature 36 affordable housing units scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.

Since activity began on the Buller Street site, the nearby daycare children and neighbours have been coming by to watch the activity and bring water and treats for the construction workers. The special relationship resulted in the tour.

“The children were fascinated with all the machinery and activity on the construction site and with Cliff,” said Vicky Stickwood-Hislop, LRCA board president.  They were treated with goody bags and snow cones.

The building at 314 Buller Street will provide much needed affordable housing for seniors, small families and persons with disabilities.

The project will also provide space for local organizations to deliver services in a community hall and commercial-grade community kitchen.