From left to right: LRCA board president, Guido Weisz, CHA executive director, John Horn, and LRCA executive director, Christy Wood (Cole Schisler photo)

LRCA receives first ever Cowichan Housing Association grant

The LRCA was awarded a $317,000 grant for their affordable housing project

The Ladysmith Resource Centre Association (LRCA) has received a grant of $317,000 for their Buller Street affordable housing project.

The grant was awarded by the Cowichan Housing Association, (CHA). The CHA was established in 2015 by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, (CVRD) board to focus on homelessness prevention and housing affordability in the Cowichan region. This was the first grant awarded by the CHA.

RELATED: LRCA low-income housing project ‘months away’ from on-site work

“It speaks to the work the LRCA has put into their housing project over the last few years,” CVRD chair Aaron Stone said. “They’ve done a significant amount of work with BC Housing, and working with the Town Ladysmith on the housing agreement, the waiver of DCCs, as well as the province to get seed funding for the project.”

The CHA is funded by the Cowichan Housing Trust Fund, which was approved by referendum during the last municipal election. The fund is provided $750,000 derived annually from property taxation. That funding flows back into the community in the form of grants to affordable housing projects.

“The rationale for using the taxpayers dollars is to contribute to these projects, but also to be a bit of a magnet for other grants. We can open the door for folks to do fundraising, and get contributions from senior levels of government,” CHA executive director, John Horn said.

Horn said there are currently 16 other projects that the CHA is working with at various stages of development.

LRCA executive director, Christy Wood said she hopes the LRCA can be a model to other organizations in the CVRD that affordable housing projects are possible.

“We’re really excited to be the first project in the Cowichan region to receive this money. I think it can be a testament to all the other non-profits and people who are working to bring affordable housing to the region that this can be done,” she said.

The affordable housing project is estimated to cost a total of $10 million to build. LRCA board president Guido Weisz said that fundraising efforts, capital campaigns, and other grant applications will be ongoing to secure more funding for the project.

Other contributors to the project in Ladysmith include BC Housing ($3.6M), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ($1.5M pending application approval), Ladysmith Resources Centre Association ($970,000 inclusive of land value) and the Town of Ladysmith ($258,989).

RELATED: LRCA receives $3.6-million in provincial funding for affordable housing project

“We’ll continue to invest in the building, and work to identify additional resources,” Weisz said. “We want to make sure that when we get to the operation of the building that we are on solid financial footing.”

Weisz said that the CHA grant makes a huge difference in reducing the cost of the project, and gives motivation for the LRCA to move forward with the project. Right now, the LRCA is working to prove that the project is financially viable.

The CHA, the LRCA, and the CVRD all hope that this grant will be the first of many.

“It’s a really exciting time. I’m proud of our community and LRCA about the work they did to get this far. I look forward to more funding announcements like this in the future throughout the Cowichan region,” Stone said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan doc spurs octogenarian dad to develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Graham Brockley takes concept to his dad who is trying to develop it to save lives

Martin Tang’s thoughtful approach to food in downtown Ladysmith

The owner of Appetit Food for Thought talks about nearly 20 years in business in downtown Ladysmith

Downtown businesses suffer attempted break-ins

Downtown Business Assocation requests additional security measures

Ladysmith designer donates her time to make free face masks and gowns

Nikki MacCallum works three days a week on masks and gowns, and three days on her regular business

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

North Cowichan to police popular trails to ensure physical distancing

“You can expect delays accessing Mount Tzouhalem, or even to be turned away.”

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read