Sunday, February 08, 2015

Supportive Housing Costs - Justifiable?? Affordable??

The following is the press release issued by the Provincial government announcing the official opening of the supportive housing complex at 6015 Uplands Drive. While our MLA and Mayor sing the praises of the facility you have to wonder how you justify some of the costs of housing 33 people compared with the housing allowances provided to those on social assistance or old age pensions.


Construction cost per unit = $212,121.00
Operating cost per unit per annum = $23,089.06

I would guess we would have a serious financial problem if we decided we needed to provide every old age pensioner or person on social assistance with a $212,000.00 home and a living allowance of $23,089.06 per year.

Of course this only provides housing for these souls, there of course is still food, clothing, medical etc.

Affordable Housing ?

The Mayor in his statement refers to "developing an all-encompassing strategy for affordable housing". How can a single apartment costing $212,000.00 and an annual operating cost of $23,089.00 be classed as affordable housing?

I realize there is a component of support staff to help people rebuild their lives, but when was $212,000.00 per apartment unit considered affordable?

An Idea ....

Here is a great way to end homelessness and poverty in Nanaimo; simply give everyone a $212,000.00 house and grant them a living allowance of $23,000.00/yr. Problem solved, Nanaimo would be known the world over as the best place to live in all of Canada.

Press Release Starts Here:

$7-million supportive housing development opens in Nanaimo

NANAIMO - Uplands Walk officially opened its doors to the community today, creating 33 units of supportive housing for those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in Nanaimo.

Located at 6025 Uplands Dr., the four-storey building is situated within walking distance of commercial and retail services, a library, hospital and a shopping centre. Constructed to meet LEED Gold standards, the development features 33 self-contained studio apartments and one respite unit for additional care. Shared amenities include dining and lounge areas, kitchen, laundry, bike storage, bed-bug sauna and landscaped outdoor spaces.

Uplands Walk is the third new supportive housing site to open under a partnership between the B.C. government and the City of Nanaimo. This development is managed and operated by Pacifica Housing Advisory Association. Two staff members will be on-site at all times, providing 24/7 support services.

Project partners and funding include:
The B.C. government arranged approximately $7 million in long-term financing and is providing annual operating funding of $761,938.
The City of Nanaimo provided $229,277 in municipal reductions, and the land is valued at $307,000.

Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation -

“By collaborating with the City of Nanaimo and Pacifica Housing Advisory Association we’re bringing much-needed supportive housing to north Nanaimo. Uplands Walk provides not only stable housing for 33 individuals, but an opportunity for people to rebuild their lives in a healthy and positive way.”

Mayor Bill McKay, City of Nanaimo -

“Uplands Walk is a positive step forward in the fight against homelessness for the City of Nanaimo. I want to express my gratitude to the community for their tremendous support and understanding of the City of Nanaimo’s long range plans concerning homelessness, and look forward to developing an all-encompassing strategy for affordable housing. With this new development, Pacifica Housing has added capacity to continue to administer their proven programming and support systems. Homelessness touches everyone in the community, and we remain dedicated to supporting important projects like this.”



  1. Seems like house could be provided for a much lower cost by building a minimum cost building with out all that bling appeal. Ever think of how many people that are well off financially choose to live in places smaller places.
    Park model mobile homes can be had for $55,000 to 60,000. There are some nice ones being build in Chemainus. Park rental have to be a lot less than $23,089.00.

  2. If the cost per unit from above is correct, I am puzzled as to why this unit cost $7,000,000nto build.Was this another "no tender" job ??


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