The Williams Lake Creek Apartments, owned by the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation, is scheduled to be ready for tenants by Dec. 1, 2019. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

New housing on First Avenue scheduled for occupancy Dec. 1

Of the 38 units, only eight will be subsidized, the other 31 will be market rentals

A new apartment block under construction in Williams Lake will have eight subsidized units and 31 at market rental.

Williams Lake Association for Community Living executive director Ian McLaughlin on behalf of the board of directors said the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation-owned building on First Avenue North’s subsidized units will be for people affected by intellectual disabilities or mental health issues.

“The remaining 31 units are market rentals, with one bedroom apartments renting for $800 a month plus utilities and two bedrooms renting for $925 per month, plus utilities,” McLauglin said, noting applicants must have a total household income of less than $71,200 a year.

McLaughlin said he was surprised by the costs of the market rental units and the household income threshold for eligibility, noting $71,200 is not a low to moderate income in Williams Lake.

“The construction cost went up by $4 million from the time we put in the concept to being constructed,” he added.

In the future, however, the plan as the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation pays down the mortgage the money saved in interest will then go toward subsidizing more units, McLaughlin added.

“I think they set the market rents as low as they could and still break even.”

Newly named the Williams Lake Creek Apartments, they will be operated by the Williams Lake Association for Community Living.

McLaughlin said originally Williams Lake Association for Community Living was going to own and operate the building, but when the construction costs went up so high, they realized they couldn’t afford it and the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation took over.

To date the building construction is on time and budget and applications for occupancy will be made available sometime in this fall.

In September 2018, the housing project received an $8 million dollar grant from the provincial government as part of a commitment made by the government to make more affordable housing available in B.C.

McLaughlin said moving forward the project will not receive further government dollars.

Read more: Community Living affordable housing unit receives $8 million from government

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