The new 13-unit apartment on Juniper Street is expected to be ready by late summer, according to the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society. Prospective tenants can already apply to BC Housing’s Housing Registry to get their name in the running for a unit. /LAURA KEIL

By Laura Keil

After years of hard work by a group of dedicated volunteers, the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society says their 13-unit apartment building could be ready for tenants by late summer.

Board member Korie Marshall said the windows and doors are in, plumbing and electrical are done, the roofing and drywall is underway, and the siding is going up.

“We’re extremely excited,” Marshall said.

The building is located on Juniper Street, near the Dogwood Street rail crossing. Next to it, is VARS’ existing affordable housing units, a motel converted into studio apartments.

Marshall says the new units are needed now more than ever.

“Our (existing rental) units have not been empty for a year and a half. We know that Rustic Luxury (property management) has zero vacancies. We see people on facebook looking for spaces all the time.”

She said pipeliners taking up local rentals is not making the situation better, but it’s not just pipeliners.

“We definitely need these units for sure. I think we’ll see that once these units are filled up, there’s still demand.”

She said providing people with more housing options also creates more efficient housing.

“There’s definitely a lot of people who are not in appropriate housing at the moment,” Marshall said. “There’s seniors living all by themselves in a large home if they had a smaller spot to move to, then that’s a house for a family.”

Anyone interested in living there can start applying via the Housing Registry on BC Housing’s website. From these applications, a VARS committee will vet who will become a tenant. Marshall says one of the biggest reasons for the housing registry is that people can apply just once and they can choose multiple properties or multiple areas of the province that they would be interested in.

Some units will be scaled to a person’s income and others will be market-rate. The income cut-off for tenants will be around $125,000 per year per household.

To apply to the housing registry, visit this link: Alternatively, there is a paper application available.

Marshall says a declaration needs to be printed, signed, and mailed in to the Housing Registry (even with the online application) or they won’t consider your application complete. Marshall says people can visit the library or the learning centre for assistance with both parts of the process or give her a call/email at 250-566-3762 or [email protected].