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CBT partners with Province to provide affordable seniors' housing

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is partnering with the Province of British Columbia to construct 114 affordable housing units for seniors and persons with disabilities in eight communities throughout the Basin; Cranbrook, Kimberley, Creston, Baynes Lake, Golden, Revelstoke, New Denver and Valemount will each see projects built as a result of the partnership.

"One of our goals is to assist communities in dealing with affordable housing issues, and in particular to explore opportunities to support new housing initiatives. Partnering with BC Housing to develop these new units is a great chance for us to fulfill that goal while meeting a clear need in communities," said Garry Merkel, CBT Board Chair. "This is a unique opportunity for CBT to be involved in the creation of a significant number of housing units, particularly in rural locations within the Basin."

This partnership between CBT and the Province will contribute to the overall capital costs of nine sites and 114 units under the Seniors' Rental Housing (SRH) initiative. CBT has committed $425,000 to be allocated towards the 114 units, and the Province, under the SRH initiative, will provide approximately $8,550,000 in cash equity for these units. 

"It's important we offer seniors and people with disabilities affordable housing options that meet their needs and allow them to stay in their communities," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development. "The Province is proud to partner with Columbia Basin Trust to create affordable seniors housing options in eight Basin communities." 

"Our government is committed to creating more affordable housing options in the Columbia Basin region and across the province," said The Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Community and Rural Development and MLA for Kootenay East. "This is a very innovative development as it will provide affordable rental housing for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Once again, the Columbia Basin Trust has shown their commitment as a great community partner in the Kootenay region."

The SRH initiative is a $365-million joint investment under an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, which includes funding through Canada's Economic Action Plan and by the Government of British Columbia. This initiative will provide $123.5 million, including $104 million for seniors and $19.5 million for persons with disabilities, to develop up to 1,000 new affordable rental housing units, which will help to stimulate local economies in smaller communities across B.C. Under terms of the agreement, the provincial and federal governments will provide matching contributions of $61.79 million.

Property for the housing projects will be managed by local non-profit societies. Some developments will be co-located with existing housing projects in the communities, as is the case with Golden, Kimberley and Revelstoke.

Learn more about CBT's other housing initiatives and the Social Strategic Plan at

CBT delivers economic, social, and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit or call 1-800-505-8998.

The Province of British Columbia's $14-billion capital infrastructure program is creating up to 88,000 jobs, helping to build vital public infrastructure in every region of the province and stimulating local economies across B.C.

Through Housing Matters BC, the Province is addressing a range of housing needs, from homelessness to affordable rental housing and homeownership.  In 2010/11, the Province will invest over $562 million to provide affordable housing and fight homelessness - more than four times as much as in 2001.  To find out more about affordable housing in B.C., visit