Affordable homes for seniors, families in Langley

SENIORS and families in Langley will soon have safe, secure and affordable rental homes as construction has started on a new 82-unit townhouse and apartment complex, the Province announced on Thursday.

“Families and seniors deserve to have safe, secure and affordable housing in the community they call home,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I’d like to thank our project partners for their work in delivering these urgently needed new homes that will let people live in the community they choose, close to their friends, family and the services they count on.”

The new development is a partnership between the Province, Catalyst Community Developments Society (CCDS) and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (SVLC) Langley Housing Society. Located at 20097 72nd Avnue in Langley, Emmaus Place will include three buildings: two two-storey buildings with 12 townhouses for low- to moderate-income families and a five-storey building with 70 apartments designated for seniors. The units will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units operated by CCDS and SVLC Langley Housing Society.

“Being able to live in quality, affordable housing is the cornerstone of people’s sense of well-being. Emmaus Place will have a great impact on our community, providing vital housing security for families and seniors,” said Jack Froese, Mayor, Township of Langley. “The Township of Langley’s Housing Action Plan commits us to increased affordable housing choices and we appreciate the vision, dedication and collaboration that went into making this rental housing project a reality.”

The Province provided $8.7 million and construction financing for the project. The society provided the land and equity. Additional contributions were provided by CCDS, Quadra Homes, ELFEC and Vancity Community Foundation.

The site is adjacent to the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church and is close to commuter routes, parks and schools.

Construction began in July 2019 and the buildings are expected to be complete spring 2021.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is a part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Robin Petri, Vice President of Development, Catalyst Community Developments Society, said: “Catalyst is very excited to be working with the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church and BC Housing to secure financing for the project at 20097 West 72nd Avenue in the Township of Langley. This will enable Catalyst and the SVLC Langley Housing Society to develop, own and operate 82 homes that will provide critically needed secure, affordable rental housing for seniors and families. These households will now have the stability and affordability they need to flourish.”

Kristen Steele, pastor, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church / SVLC Langley Housing Society, added: “Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is very grateful for the support of all of our community partners and in particular BC Housing to help make Emmaus Place a reality and provide much-needed affordable rental housing for seniors and families here in Langley. This has been a vision of the congregation for many years and we are so pleased to have such wonderful support that has enabled us to make our vision a reality. We look forward to welcoming our new neighbours!”

Jeff Pym, Executive Director, ELFEC, said: “As a faith-based charitable foundation, ELFEC is committed to investing our resources to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Canada. We’re delighted to be a partner in the creation of much-needed affordable housing in Langley and we hope that Emmaus Place can be the model for similar developments throughout the province and the country.”

Kira Gerwing, Senior Manager of Community Investment, Vancity, said: “The Shepherd of the Valley has been an important project for Vancity and Vancity Community Foundation. It is a great example of how churches are reimagining how to put their lands in service of community by delivering much-needed affordable rental homes. We are proud to have supported the project with a $25,000 grant for feasibility planning and a $200,000 pre-development impact loan that helped to move the project from an idea to construction.”

Quick Facts:

* Projected monthly rents for the new affordable housing units are:
– 24 studio units: $650 to $900 per month

– 38 one-bedroom units: $850 to $1,200 per month

– Four two-bedroom units: $1,450 per month

– Eight three-bedroom: $1,700 per month

* To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.’s housing market and building 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.