Next steps to proceed on Paisley Place affordable housing project

Gabriola Housing Society

Press Release

Wednesday, June 9 2021

The Board of the Gabriola Housing Society (GHS) is reaffirming its commitment to seeing Gabriola’s Paisley Place 24-home affordable housing project through to completion, despite not receiving funding in the 2021 round of BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund selections announced June 4, 2021.    

“We’re determined to see affordable housing built on Gabriola and will re-apply to the next round of BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund, which is likely in 2022,” said Nancy Hetherington Peirce, GHS President. “The project is delayed but not derailed.”  

The Community Housing Fund (CHF) provides a construction grant of approximately $100,000 per home, as well as a 35-year operating subsidy to ensure continuing financial stability for affordable rental projects – both of which are essential to make Paisley Place a reality.

“Unfortunately, there was an extremely high number of applications across the province, and funding from the government is limited,” said Jim Ramsay, Board member. “Along with many community members, businesses, and organizations, we’re committed to the project and we will proceed with the next steps required to ensure much-needed affordable housing is built on Gabriola.” 

Priority work includes:

Continuing to work with the Local Trust Committee to achieve final adoption of the necessary by-laws: amending the Official Community Plan and Land-Use bylaws and establishing the Housing Agreement bylaw particular to Paisley Place

Working with BC Housing, CMHC and other funders to secure additional grants and loans so the professionals who are designing the buildings, landscaping, water management, and other aspects of the project can continue their work to make the project more “shovel-ready”

Relationship building with the Snuneymuxw First Nation to find ways to partner on this and potentially other future projects. 

“We are disappointed but not deterred,” said Jenni Gehlbach, GHS Secretary. “Affordable housing must be a priority for the government. We encourage everyone to let our MLA Doug Routley know how important this funding is to our community and to ask him to advocate for increased funding for the Community Housing Fund and other affordable housing initiatives.” 

GHS thanks all those who have been supportive of its work.  “Progress to date would not have been possible without the strong support of GHS members and the wider Gabriola community,” said Nancy Hetherington Peirce. “We count on your continued support as we continue to work to realize the GHS vision of affordable, comfortable, secure rental housing for Gabriolans of all ages who have low to moderate incomes.

GHS Board: Kristina Baerg, Jenni Gehlbach, Nancy Hetherington Peirce, Barry Loescher, Dave Neads, Jim Ramsay

For more information about GHS and to follow updates: www.gabriolahousing.ca