B.C. buys motel for tenants displaced by Campbell River apartment fire
VICTORIA -- The B.C. government has purchased a motel to provide housing for dozens of people who were displaced after a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Campbell River in April.
More than 85 people were forced out of their homes on April 8 after a fire broke out in a second-floor unit before quickly spreading to the third floor.
Since then, some of the former tenants have been able to secure new accommodations, but most have been using temporary accommodations provided by the City of Campbell River and BC Housing.
Soon after the fire took place, some residents of the building told CTV News that landlords in the area were refusing to rent to former tenants due to the building’s reputation.
Now, the provincial government says that it has purchased the former Heritage River Inn, located at 2140 Island Highway in Campbell River, to create 41 long-term affordable rental units for those were displaced by the apartment fire.
“We know that finding affordable housing is challenging, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island in a statement Friday.
“This purchase and resulting new units will provide security, stability and peace of mind for people in Campbell River who lost their homes during the April fire, while we continue to work with our partners to build more affordable housing for others in need of a place to call home.”
Tenants are expected to move into the building, which has a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, over the next several weeks.
During this time, BC Housing will also select a service provider to manage the building’s day-to-day operations.
Residents of the building will be expected to pay a monthly rent, which will be set at 30 per cent of a household’s total income.
The province purchased the Heritage River Inn building for $4.08 million. BC Housing says that it may redevelop the site in the future, but no proposal or timeline has been presented yet.
Meanwhile, two provincial housing projects in Campbell River continue to be under construction. One project will create a total of 49 units for women and children leaving violence, and the other project will provide 27 units for low to moderate-income renters.