New housing at George Derby gets help from city

The city of Burnaby is contributing $1.018 million to help the George Derby Care Society build a new supportive housing project for seniors next to its residential care centre on 16th Avenue.

The money will come from the city's density bonus program.

The five-storey project will provide 121 units of non-profit supportive rental housing for seniors aged 55 and over who want to live independently but still have access to meal, housekeeping and recreational services. Most of the units will be one-bedroom, but 14 will also have a den, and there will be 13 two-bedroom units.

Coun. Colleen Jordan said because the money is coming from the density bonus program that is funded by developers, the contribution isn't costing Burnaby taxpayers a dime.

"The nice thing is, those funds aren't a drain on the city's resources," said Jordan.

In a report to council about the project, Burnaby's director of planning and building Lou Pelletier noted the lack of financial subsidies that are available from senior levels of government to help build affordable housing for seniors.

Mayor Derek Corrigan said that was a shame, but he's glad Burnaby is in a position to be able to help.

"There are just too few of these projects," he said. "We need a greater effort from our senior governments."

The developer of the project, Etherstane Developments Ltd., of New Westminster, had originally proposed to build supportive market rental housing but revised that last November to a non-market complex.

It will be built east of the existing care centre, with access to its parking lot off 16th Avenue. Additional residential development to the east and north of the new building could happen in the future.

Before the project can proceed the site will have to be rezoned. A public hearing for that rezoning application is scheduled for Sept. 30.


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