The development permit for the Braidwood Housing Project has been approved by Courtenay council.

Roger Kishi of the Wachiay Friendship Centre says working alongside the M’akola Housing Society has gone smoothly.

He notes there is still some work to do, including the building permit process through the city.

“There is a house on the property that will need to be removed and we’re hoping that work will be able to be done over the summer, and that site preparation for the new building can begin towards the end of this summer.”

The property in question is located at 810 Braidwood Road and would provide 34 affordable housing units. Kishi says the units will be geared towards single adults and adult couples.

“6 of the units will be provided at the income assistance shelter rate of $375 a month, and the remainder of the units will be about 10% below market rent”.

Kishi says this is the beginning of addressing the lack of affordable housing and the bigger issue of homelessness in the Comox Valley.

He notes that estimates have shown that the region requires about 570 units of rental housing to meet existing housing needs.

Kishi adds that once tenants are settled in, local groups like AIDS Vancouver Island, LUSH Valley, the Care-A-Van and Island Health, mental health and substance use services will make themselves available to assist residents. He says they’re hoping to have tenants in the building by September 2018.