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In a recent letter to the editor about wood stoves and air quality, one line caught our attention: “We spent over four million dollars building 13 luxury apartments for ‘low income subsidized’ individuals.” We are not sure what connection Joseph Nusse is making between air quality and the new building, but he is clearly talking about Juniper Square Phase 2, the project being built by Valemount Affordable Rentals Society. The board would like to clarify some misinformation in his comments.

The 13 units are not “luxury,” but they are nice. The new BC Building Code and BC Housing regulations require a lot more out of new buildings than they did 40 years ago. The units are energy efficient, and there are no wood stoves installed.

The units are for families and seniors in a variety of income levels, including up to approximately $113,000 per year for a family. Some units will be rent-geared-to-income, and some deeply subsidized, but some will be near-market rents for median income families.

The total construction cost of the building is around $4 million, some of which VARS received in grants from the provincial and federal governments, including Columbia Basin Trust, and fees waived by the Village of Valemount. But the remainder is a mortgage from BC Housing, which will be paid back over 30 years from rents collected in the building.

Our building is nearing completion, and we have a number of applicants for the 1-bedroom units, but we are hoping to encourage more families to apply, as we don’t yet have enough local applicants to fill the units. Please apply through the Housing Registry on BC Housing’s website, or you can pick up a printed application from the Valemount Learning Centre, or from one of the VARS board members.

The board of Valemount Affordable Rentals Society:
Riette Kenkel,
Korie Marshall,
Katerina Tinsley,
Kim Hood