With hundreds of millions for affordable housing on the horizon from the federal and provincial governments, there’s been a flurry of activity in the Terrace social housing sector as local non-profits get their ducks in a row for making applications.
The Kermode Friendship Society already has $500,000 from a previous Ministry of Children and Family Development grant and is trying to advance a daycare centre plan on downtown land in a vacant lot between Park and Davis that it already owns.
Director of the organization Cal Albright appeared before Terrace city council April 13 to request $30,000 from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund to pay for preliminary design work as well as a needs assessment and application to funding bodies.
The city has $500,000 in the fund from a previous land sale that it has earmarked for collaborations with groups such as Kermode.
“The daycare will have a strong aboriginal focus, and people will know this is an aboriginal program similar to all programs Kermode operates,” says Albright. “The monies we are asking from the city is for three things: to conduct a needs assessment, prepare conceptual drawings and to prepare social housing proposals.”
Already an owner of the land, Albright said Kermode wants to combine a 5,000 square foot daycare with an unspecified number of affordable housing units in partnership with a developer.
The total number of spaces to be provided is 62—12 for infants, and 50 for kids between 19-36 months.
The strategy now is to have a housing component to help pay off what will be a $6 million project, said Albright.
The infant spaces for those under 18 months would be $750 a month. The other spaces would cost $635 for kids of 19-36 months and $550 for kids over 36 months, he said. The number of affordable housing units is yet to be determined.
With Terrace pegged by various studies as a growth town, affordable daycare has risen as a necessity, but Albright said that it’s been a challenge convincing industry to donate.
Councillor Stacey Tyers asked if the amount Albright requested is flexible and Cordeiro said they have rejected a similar request in the past.