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Building an affordable place to call home in Prince George

AiMHi is hoping to address the housing problem with its Davie Avenue Project
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Davie Avenue Project incorporates 10 units—five with two bedrooms, and five with single bedrooms. Photo by: AiMHi

Home—it provides a sense of security, a refuge and a place from which to recharge and prepare to take on life’s challenges.

It’s also a hub to live your life with family, partners, and interact with neighbours and friends.

But for many of those with a disability, the opportunity to experience the benefits and comforts of a home is getting increasingly difficult as the availability of affordable units is growing ever more scarce in Prince George, and across the rest of the province.

AiMHi, Prince George Association for Community Living, is hoping to help address that problem locally with its Davie Avenue Project, which incorporates 10 units—five with two bedrooms, and five with single bedrooms.

All will be purpose-built to eliminate barriers for physically disabled residents, and each will also be available at an affordable home rental cost.

“We’ve owned that property along Davie Avenue for years and have debated what we were going to put there,” explains Nelson Lee Miners, AiMHi’s operations director. “We ultimately decided to go with the single family-type dwellings because it would fit best into the existing neighbourhood.

“In this city, it is really hard to find anything that’s wheelchair accessible,” Miners says. “You tend to see a lot of split-level homes with numerous barriers to easy access. So, we figured it would be beneficial to the community if we started building our own, completely accessible units.”

It would also address affordability.

“There’s a definite lack of affordable housing in Prince George right now for those dealing with disabilities,” says Bonnie Chow, manager of AiMHi’s adult life skills program. “It’s based, generally, on a person’s lack of income to support their housing needs.”

Financial support for the people AiMHi supports generally falls short of the cost of living—something the Davie Avenue housing project will specifically address.

“When you are already paying $850 to $900 for a typical market rental, one-bedroom place, that doesn’t leave much left over from the $1,200 or so they receive for other monthly living costs,” Chow says. “We’re hoping our homes will give them a little more to address those basic needs.

“The difficult part is we anticipate there will definitely be many more applicants than spaces available.”

Eligibility requirements for residents at the Davie Avenue Project are still being developed, Miners says, adding once that has been completed, the homes will follow regular rental terms.

For more information about AiMHi’s Davie Avenue housing project, e-mail housing@aimhi.ca, visit their website at aimhi.ca or call 250-564-6408. It’s for people who can live independently and are looking for affordable housing that is accessible.



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