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‘We simply cannot save every single project’: Kahlon on rejected affordable housing in Mission

Housing minister says 2nd Avenue development can still apply through Indigenous Housing Fund
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Housing minister Ravi Kahlon answered questions on Thursday (April 4) about the rejected application for a non-profit to manage 92 units of affordable housing on 2nd Avenue in Mission. /Mission Record Photo

Housing minister Ravi Kahlon answered questions on Thursday (April 4) about a rejected application for a near-complete Mission development intended for affordable housing.

Non-profit More Than A Roof applied for funding through BC Housing in October to take over the building from Apex Western Homes and offer 92 units at affordable rates, but recently received a regret letter.

In a scrum on Thursday, Kahlon said the project was proceeding without government funding.

“I appreciate it’s a tough market. There’s a lot of projects which are coming to us now asking for government to assist them on. With the funding that we have, we simply cannot save every single project,” Kahlon said. “We do what we can with the resources that we have. We have thousands of new homes coming online.”

The building will be ready for occupation in roughly a month and Apex CEO Raymond Vesely said the rates may have to change from affordable to market if a non-profit can’t take over.

BC Housing completed an independent review and scoring procedure for Community Housing Fund applications but the 2nd Avenue project did not rank high enough, according to a statement.

Vesely said the building didn’t meet new code requirements that were implemented since the development process began.

“The biggest one being they don’t want gas in the building and I have a gas boiler and a gas air exchanger. They want 100 per cent electricity with CO2 emissions,” Vesely told the Mission Record.

Kahlon said he didn’t agree with the framing of why the project was rejected.

“BC Housing does independent reviews of all applicants for affordable housing projects. This one ranked fairly well but it didn’t make the cut,” he said.

He said the project can still apply for the Indigenous Housing Fund, which is currently open. Kahlon added that the province is building housing in Mission and the entire region.

“This project was proceeding without government funding and I appreciate there’s tough economic times and there’s a lot of projects like this that are coming to government for funding during these challenging times. And we try our best to support as many as we can but we can’t support every single project,” he said.

READ MORE: Near-complete affordable housing development in Mission rejected by province

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Dillon White

About the Author: Dillon White

I joined the Mission Record in November of 2022 after moving to B.C. from Nova Scotia earlier in the year.
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