Earnie and Gayle Harding Taylor Bachrach

Affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities

Seniors and people with disabilities in Smithers now have access to new affordable and accessible rental homes, as a result of a partnership between the Province, the Town of Smithers and the Dik Tiy Housing Society.

“More affordable, accessible housing is needed in all corners of the province,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a press release. “Seniors and people with disabilities can now live without worrying about what barriers might exist in their housing and, as part of our commitment to climate action, we’re identifying ways to make sure more homes like these are energy efficient.”

Located at 3787 Sixteenth Avenue, Harding Heights is open and targeting Passive House certification. Passive House standards aim to minimize the energy used for heating and cooling. The housing incorporates design features and technologies that reduce energy use and utility costs for residents and the operator, and improve the comfort and air quality for those living in the building.

“By designing these homes to meet Passive House standards, we are providing shelter for British Columbians in a sustainable way, while providing more comfortable and affordable housing,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in a press release. “Encouraging more efficient housing is essential to building a clean-growth economy in B.C.”

Harding Heights’ building standards achieve the highest level of the BC Energy Step Code. This is in line with the Province’s goal of going above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code in energy-efficiency, moving toward being net-zero energy ready in new construction by 2032.

“The Town of Smithers congratulates BC Housing and the Dik Tiy Housing Society on the completion of their successful project,” said Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach in the release. “Not only does the new building add to the diversity and affordability of housing in Smithers, it also demonstrates climate-action leadership as Smithers’ first certified Passive House project. Thank you to BC Housing for this significant investment in our community.”

Dik Tiy will operate and manage the project, while High Road Services Society will provide support services to people living with disabilities.

“With the development of this amazing passive housing project, and the hard work of BC Housing, our society and our community, we are excited to see lives changed, blessed, enhanced and improved because of the creation of this community within a community,” said Dana Gorbahn, executive director of Dik Tiy Housing Society.

High Road Services Society’s support services will involve working with individuals on a range of self-care and life skills that will assist them in achieving maximum independence.

The Government of British Columbia provided an investment of approximately $3.4 million in capital funding.

Rental rates for the new development are $375 to $500 for bachelor units, $550 to $625 for one-bedroom units.

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