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Maple Ridge affordable housing operator asks for federal funds

Devonshire Court apartments damaged by a fire in the spring
A fire at Devonshire Court Housing Co-op left 14 units uninhabitable. (The News files)

Work is being planned to repair and upgrade a Maple Ridge affordable housing complex that was damaged by fire in April.

Maple Ridge council is supporting an application by Devonshire Court Housing Co-operative to apply for federal funding for affordable housing units on Dewdney Trunk Road.

READ ALSO: Fire forces evacuation of Maple Ridge apartment building

Megan Haney, a consultant with Red House Solutions, wrote council asking for its endorsement of an application to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporations, for funding toward preserving and developing housing on the property at 22170 Dewdney Trunk road.

“CMHC understands that all levels of government must work together in many different capacities to ensure the implementation and completion of affordable housing projects,” Haney wrote. “By providing the seed funding, CMHC allows Devonshire to complete the studies and reports necessary for a large-scale construction project, and the city in turn can provide support through policies that promote the advancement of affordable housing.”

Devonshire Court Housing Co-operative is a 47-unit not-for-profit affordable low-rise apartment. The fire in the spring left 20 units damaged, and 14 uninhabitable.

Haney noted that in 2016 there were 30,265 occupied private dwellings in Maple Ridge. Of those, according to BC Housing, 570 units were in non-market housing, while 575 rent subsidies were made available to individuals and households living in scattered sites throughout the city in 2015.

READ ALSO: Fundraiser for Maple Ridge restaurant destroyed in fire

She added that the number of available affordable housing units is “clearly insufficient” considering that in 8,690 persons – almost 11 per cent of the city population – were low income by 2015 statistics. There is potential for more units to be added at Devonshire Court.

Rent levels are 30 per cent below market housing in typical affordable housing developments.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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