VICTORIA -- People with mental health and substance abuse challenges in Nanaimo can soon be eligible to move into one of 23 affordable housing units which are currently under construction.

The new housing complex is located on the corner of Rosehill Street and Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo and will be run and managed by the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society.

“Stable housing is vital for people to maintain mental wellness and health,” says the society’s executive director, Taryn O’Flanagan.

The province is providing $2.3 million for this project as part of their Building BC: Community Housing Fund. The fund is a $1.9 billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes throughout the province, which will include 880 units in Nanaimo.

“It’ll be another 23 families that have a safe, secure affordable place to live and will also take pressure off the rest of the rental market,” says Nanaimo MLA, Sheila Malcolmson.

The rent for the 23 studio-unit homes will be structured into 3 tiers:

  • 4 units at $375 per month for people with very low income
  • 12 units at $539 per month for people with low to moderate incomes
  • 7 units at $800 per month that will be affordable market units

The society says there will be an application process in which potential tenants can apply. Applicants' rent will be based on their income and if organizers think it’s the right fit for the individual.

Potential tenants are expected to be able to move in by October.