VICTORIA -- Dozens of affordable rental homes reserved for seniors and Indigenous Elders are currently under construction in Port Alberni, the province announced Tuesday.

In total, 48 homes for seniors with low to moderate incomes will be built in a five-storey building at 6151 Russell Pl., beside the Tsawaayuus-Rainbow Gardens assisted living facility.

The building will include 45 one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom homes, according to the province. The property will also have on-site laundry rooms, accessible washrooms, a community garden and other amenity rooms.

"These new homes will help seniors and Indigenous Elders in Port Alberni remain in the community they helped build, where their families and friends surround them," said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, on behalf of the Housing Ministry on Tuesday.

The new rental building is located on Westcoast Native Healthcare Society lands, and the society will own and operate the property.

"The Westcoast Native Healthcare Society is committed to providing services to seniors in the Alberni Valley and surrounding communities," said Darleen Watts, board president of the WNHS. "This apartment complex will provide safe, affordable housing for seniors."

The province has committed $5 million for construction of the project, and will provide a $302,335 operating subsidy each year moving forward.

The building is expected to open to tenants in summer 2022.