The Cariboo Friendship Society’s building on Third Avenue is undergoing extensive renovations on its exterior this month. Angie Mindus photo

Renovation underway for social housing facility

Cariboo Friendship Society’s facility sees improvements

The Cariboo Friendship Society’s facility on Third Avenue South is getting a makeover.

Construction is underway to replace the entire exterior — the roofs, stucco, siding, windows and air take units, said executive director Rosanne McGregor.

“We were supposed to get started in the summer, but as you know, we all had wildfires so it got delayed.”

McGregor explained the renovation is being done through an agreement between the society and B.C. Housing Management Commission.

“Our present operating agreement will end in two years because we will have paid out our mortgage and Cariboo Friendship Society will own this building and we have agreed to extend our operating agreement and will provide a form of affordable housing in return for the work that’s being done to the exterior of the building.”

It is anticipated the renos will extend the life and usefulness of the building so the Cariboo Friendship Society can continue to provide housing for another eight to 10 years, and should be around for another 30 years at least as long as it is maintained, McGregor added.

Once the mortgage is paid off, however, there will be no subsidy because it will run out.

“That is a concern for me as the executive director, dealing with people that have low incomes and what does that mean to those folks that have been getting subsidies. We are going to provide a different form of affordable housing. It’s not going to be rent geared to income it’s going to be below market value.”

The housing is full right now with a waiting list, which McGregor said is the norm.

There are 17 apartment units, the emergency shelter’s 32 beds plus mats for when it is really cold weather to accomodate more.

Sprucelee Construction Ltd. of Williams Lake is doing the renovation.

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