The province is partnering with the City of Prince George and Northern Health on a project that would bring together new affordable housing and health-care services to support people in Prince George.
The proposed mixed-use development would be located on First Avenue at the current location of NR Motors.
BC Housing would lead the construction of the project, to be built in two phases. The first phase would include approximately 50 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness and the second phase would include 50 affordable rental homes for low- to moderate-income individuals and families. Experienced non-profit housing providers would be selected to oversee the day-to-day management of both buildings.
“This project is a great example of how we’re working with partners to make life better for people in Prince George,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a news release. “People should be able to find affordable housing that works for them, close to the health-care services they count on, and that’s what this project will deliver.”
Each building would include ground-floor health-care space that would deliver services for both residents and the public. Northern Health, in partnership with other health-service agencies, would oversee these spaces and provide primary care, harm reduction and specialized mental health and substance-use services. The proposed project addresses recommendations in Northern Health’s 2017 downtown health-services plan.
The city has an agreement with NR Motors to purchase the property, subject to rezoning, an amendment to the official community plan, environmental and geotechnical review, and project approval. According to NR Motors, the company has outgrown its current site and is planning to move to a different location.
“I would like to express my appreciation to Northern Health and BC Housing for partnering with the city to explore real options for improving our downtown for everyone,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “Just the fact these three organizations are working together is quite innovative and encouraging, and positions Prince George for meaningful change. The partners will now work together to provide the community with more information about the proposal together with opportunities for public input, leading up to a rezoning process later this fall.”
The proposed project is in an early phase of planning. A municipal rezoning process is planned for fall 2019, offering opportunities for stakeholders and the community to provide input.
“With the City of Prince George, BC Housing and our many health-service partners, we are taking a bold step in addressing some of the challenges that we are facing in the downtown,” said Colleen Nyce, board chair, Northern Health. “This project will meet the housing and health-care needs of vulnerable people, where and when they need it.”
- The project is the first to be proposed in Prince George to provide this range of housing and services, all under one roof.
- For the affordable rental homes, rents will be geared to income, which means people will pay approximately 30 per cent of their gross household income.
A website has been established with information about the project: letstalkhousingbc.ca/PrinceGeorge