(Province of BC)

As the housing crisis rages on, developers are paving the way for new affordable homes in Nanaimo designed for seniors and people with disabilities.

Sunfield Manor, a five-storey building at 1125 Seafield Crescent, will have 54 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom homes, totalling 62 units, according to the BC government.

It says the building, located steps from Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, will be operated by the Woodgrove Senior Citizens Housing Society. 

Half the units will be geared to income, where rent is 30 percent of the tenant’s income, with the other units rented at below-market rates or to households with very low incomes.

Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, points to an “urgent affordable housing need” for local seniors and people living with disabilities.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog says the city is pleased to play its role in helping provide “desperately needed” housing for seniors who face “particular challenges in obtaining accommodations.”

When complete in summer 2023, officials say tenants of an existing building on the property that’s to be demolished will move into Sunfield Manor.

“We have been working on this project for some four years, with a goal of replacing our existing 30-unit building and increasing the availability of low-cost seniors housing,” said Eric Kutzner, director, Woodgrove Senior Citizens Housing Society.

The province is pledging a grant of around $6.6 million through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide roughly $268,000 in annual operating funding.

As well, the City of Nanaimo waived development fees totalling $189,000 and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provided $30,000 in seed funding.

“We are looking forward to the start of construction and are thankful for BC Housing and CMHC for their support,” Kutzner added.