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City of Castlegar Housing Project Expected to Begin Spring 2025

City of Castlegar
By City of Castlegar
May 17th, 2024

Following an announcement last month about a housing project at 925 Columbia Avenue that received funding support through B.C. Housing’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund, the City has determined an expected construction start date of Spring 2025.

In 2023, the City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a housing & healthcare project which will improve team-based healthcare and construct a new building with up to 68 new non-market housing units.

Lu’ma Native Housing Society will serve as the owner/operator for the housing component of this project. Over the past 40 years, Lu’ma has developed, owned, and managed more than 1250 affordable housing units, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous projects.

The spring 2025 start date:

  • allows the project team time to complete the detailed design;
  • allows time to secure funding for the healthcare component of the project; and
  • means the Pioneer Arena will be available for the 2024/25 season.

“We are excited to be able to announce a start date for construction of the housing project and we are glad ice users will have another year at the Pioneer while the RDCK engages the communities of Castlegar and Areas I and J on the future of recreation at the Community Complex,” said City of Castlegar Mayor Maria McFaddin. “This project is one of the ways the City is working 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.”

“We are pleased to work with the City of Castlegar to see Pioneer Arena be operational for an additional year,” said Joe Chirico, Regional District of Central Kootenay General Manager of Community Services. “We will be reaching out to user groups who use Pioneer Arena to ensure they can adjust their usage requests for the 2024/2025 season.”

Background

  • The Memorandum of Understanding for the Housing & Healthcare project at 925 Columbia Avenue is the culmination of years of work by multiple City Councils to develop a concept that could deliver on two important community priorities – healthcare and housing.
  • Improving primary healthcare services will make Castlegar a healthier and more livable community. Creating modern clinical spaces will improve services and help recruit and retain healthcare professionals.
  • Like most communities, Castlegar is in a housing crisis. The City has identified a need for 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.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding includes City of Castlegar, Regional District of Central Kootenay, Castlegar Physicians, Prima Health Cooperative, and Axis Projects.
  • With the Pioneer Arena at its end of life, it is appropriate to consider possible opportunities for the land at 925 Columbia Avenue to serve Castlegar’s growing community. This City-owned location is the best for this project because it has easy access from Columbia Avenue, is centrally located, close to the Castlegar Urgent and Primary Care Centre, Emergency Room, and Talarico Place, and is a flat site large enough to accommodate the project and future expansion.
  • The RDCK is currently engaging residents in the City of Castlegar and Areas I and J to reimagine the future of recreation at the Castlegar & District Community Complex. This process is intended to hear from residents on how they imagine the future of recreation at the Complex. Part of this discussion will include the impact on ice users, due to the closure of Pioneer Arena. Get involved and share your thoughts atengage.rdck.ca.
  • Ellen Smart, Castlegar Physician Representative, previously said, “We are proud to be working within the community of Castlegar. We believe this new building will improve access to family physicians and enhance the ability to attract health professionals because team-based care is a very desirable model for new physicians.”
  • The City recognizes the Pioneer Arena is an important space for ice users and has been the result of many community volunteer efforts and plans to recognize the importance of this piece of history and would like to hear from people and groups who played a role in building and improving the Pioneer Arena. Please connect with us atinfo@castlegar.ca.
  • The City acknowledges the generous financial contribution from the provincial government, through BC Housing, to make the housing component of this project a reality. View the Ministry of Housing’s announcement at:https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2024HOUS0041-000411.

Categories: General

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