A new 20-unit apartment building for low-income housing has opened in Cranbrook. BC Government handout.

A new 20-unit apartment building for low-income housing has opened in Cranbrook. BC Government handout.

New apartment for low income housing opens in Cranbrook

A new 20-unit apartment building for people with low incomes is now open in Cranbrook, as tenants began moving in at the beginning of March.

Victoria Gardens, a four-storey building located at 126 21st Ave, replaced duplexes on the same site that provided eight units in two fourplexes, according to a provincial announcement.

“Families and seniors in Cranbrook will benefit from more affordable housing, right in their community and close to their loved ones, schools and the services they count on,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “After decades of under-investment in housing across the province, our government is working with partners and taking action to build homes that make life more affordable for people in rural areas and throughout B.C.”

Victoria Gardens features one- and two-bedroom homes for individuals, seniors and families with low incomes, while four units are specifically geared for people living with disabilities.

The province invested $8 million into the project through the Affordable Rental Housing Program.

“This new apartment building will add much-needed affordable housing units in the city of Cranbrook,” said Wayne Price, mayor, Cranbrook. “On behalf of council, I want to thank the Province and BC Housing for their investment in Cranbrook and for their support of our residents.”

While the lot is owned by BC Housing, the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kootenay branch has been selected to manage the building.

“Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays is privileged to be the operator for Victoria Gardens in Cranbrook,” said Carey Fraser, executive director, CMHA for the Kootenays. “The mix of one- and two-bedroom units is safe, affordable and well-located to meet the needs of the community. We take much pride in working with the City of Cranbrook in meeting the housing needs for the people of the city.”

According to the province, all former tenants living in the duplexes formerly on site were provided with relocation assistance and successfully housed elsewhere.

Those same tenants have been offered homes at Victoria Gardens at the same rate they were paying at the original homes.