The Project

We plan the development of a non-profit apartment building in North Quesnel with up to 30 one bedroom units for independent Seniors. The site is at the corner of Reid St. and McNaughton Avenue on land that the Quesnel Lions Club purchased for this Project. Projected capital cost is approximately $5 million (this is a preliminary estimate, and may change).

Why this project? Affordable housing in Quesnel has been identified by the City of Quesnel and others as a key social need, particularly for Seniors. Please review our Needs Assessment and Plan for more information on the need for the project.

Our aim is to offer all of the units, or a majority of them, at affordable rental rates (BC Housing defines "affordable" as 10 to 15 percent below market rents). The number of “affordable units” will depend on project financing: the more donations of money, goods and services, the more we can offer affordable rental rates.

Parking

Since this is an "affordable housing for seniors" project, we propose 17 parking stalls (as of August 2016) instead of the 50 that would be installed if we planned a conventional apartment building (click on "New and events" for information on our new property acquisition). Research on what other communities have successfully done strongly supports our plan: seniors' housing, especially for affordable housing, does not need a lot of parking. Please click here to review our research, and a City of Quesnel report on variances required for the project, including parking (see page 4 and the last recommendation on page 5).

 

Progress so far

Thanks to support from many parties, we have accomplished the following:

  • Through the Quesnel Lions Club, identified and purchased a site
  • Held discussions with neighbours of the proposed project and others. This consultation process will continue throughout the development process.
  • Held a number of discussions with the City of Quesnel regarding regulatory requirements and support that the City may provide.
  • Researched more than 20 Lions Club housing projects across BC plus more elsewhere in Canada. We’ve done that to gain insight into how to make the Project as successful as we can.
  • Researched recent studies on housing needs in Quesnel to clarify the need for this Project and obtain information on how to design it.
  • Prepared a Needs Assessment and Plan for BC Housing and other financing targets (click here to review that report.)
  • Conducted geotechnical and environmental assessments on the site (no issues were discovered by either study)
  • Applied for major financing support from the BC government
  • Purchased a neighbouring lot that added 50 percent more land to the project, allowing more parking and lower density on the site

Next steps

  • Continue to communicate with, and receive feedback from, the neighbourhood and the broader community about the project.
  • Continue and expand the fundraising campaign for support from the community and community businesses
  • Once the necessary project financing has been obtained, conduct the normal development steps (for example, refine plans, complete an environmental assessment on the site, and complete regulatory work with the City) and proceed to construction if the Project is approved by the City of Quesnel.Please Help

Raising the necessary funding will be a challenge, but the QLHS has conducted extensive research on how to raise funding, and has already raised considerable community support.

BC Housing is expected to be a key supporter, since it is the BC government agency charged with assisting access to housing in BC. BC Housing works with other branches of the BC and Federal governments to achieve its aims. It can provide debt financing at reasonable rates and other services (click here to go to the BC Housing website).

The economics of projects in rural BC are often tough: construction costs are as high or higher than in urban areas, but rents are often much lower than in urban areas. The Quesnel project is no exception, and we have a substantial financing gap—about 32 percent of the required funding—that must be filled with donations. Please note that these plans are a draft, and there will likely be many changes before planning is complete.

Much more detail on our plans is contained in our Needs Assessment and Plan.

Project concept

The following site plan and first floor layout is preliminary and conceptual (design by Access Engineering and GW Steward Architects Inc.). The design will continue to change with feedback from the City of Quesnel, the community and technical advisors. NOTE: the site plan below is new as of August 2016, and includes additional land.

 Site Plan as of August 2016

 
Quesnel Lions Housing Society
PO Box 4535
Quesnel BC V2J 3J8
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