Hope’s newest affordable housing development is well ahead of schedule and will hopefully be moving tenants in as early as the beginning of June.
Mamele’awt Qweesome & To’o Housing Society (MQHS) is busy building their Riverstone development at 755 Old Hope Princeton Way. The development will include 37 apartments of either one or two bedrooms as well as eight townhomes, half with three bedrooms and half with four bedrooms. The development was set to be finished sometime in July or August, yet CEO of MQHS Janice Silver said the development is likely to be moving in residents as of June 1.
The company will be accepting applications starting in March or April and Silver advises people to check the MQHS website (mqhs.ca). Applications will be available online, and for those who don’t have access to the internet there will be an option to complete an application over the phone or in-person.
The building is meant to house people who need affordable housing the most, so the application will assess things like income, whether someone is fleeing an abusive home, at risk of or facing homelessness and other factors. “We’re looking for those who are most in need of affordable housing and that’s really how we house people,” she said.
“It is a rent geared to income building, which means it’s very dependent on a person’s income. You have to be making below a certain threshold,” Silver said. Potential tenants need to be making a combined income lower than the housing income limits set by BC Housing. In Hope, these limits range from $27,000 for a one-bedroom to $54,000 for a four bedroom. And tenants will be paying 30 per cent of their combined income to rent a unit in the building, with a threshold built in. “Anybody that’s on social assistance, disability, seniors pension, all those people are definitely eligible to be housed with 30 per cent of that income,” Silver said.
MQHS is an Indigenous organization and the building is funded through an Indigenous housing fund, so applicants who are Indigenous will be given priority. That said, Silver stressed that MQHS houses all ethnicities and anyone can apply.
The buildings will be pet friendly, yet there will be no smoking allowed in any of the units, that includes on balconies. There will be a designated smoking area on the property. The townhomes also have a two-car closed in garage.
The building will have a live-in caretaker on site, this position has already been filled by a Hope resident Silver said. There will also be a full-time support worker at the building, to help tenants with a variety of needs. MQHS is still in the process of hiring this position.
Those who are interested in renting at the MQHS building can call the company at 604-820-3324 to be added to a list. Silver advises that this is just a list of interested people and not an application.
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