Responding to rumours in the community that residents of Greenecourt apartment complex are being evicted from their affordable housing, the Sunshine Coast Lions Housing Society issued a press release on Nov. 18 to explain their redevelopment plans.
The Society is also holding a public open house on Nov. 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, in the Lions Hall at 5810 Medusa Street, with information boards, but no formal presentation.
The Lions own and operate a complex of five apartment buildings in downtown Sechelt. They plan to replace two of the aging buildings (Blocks B and C) with a new 99-unit building, adding 70 new affordable housing units to their inventory. However, the 29 existing units will have to be vacated before construction, which is anticipated in a year to 18 months.
The press release states that tenants of Blocks B and C are being moved to other Greenecourt buildings. “The Society is doing its best to move all the tenants in Blocks B & C but it can’t move them until another suite becomes available…To date, of the 29 units in Blocks B & C, 11 have been vacated and 18 tenants remain.”
Michael Bowering, one of the affected tenants, is concerned that there is nowhere for those fixed income tenants to go. He posted on Facebook: “This will lead to homelessness as none of us can afford the punishingly high rents in the open market. The average rent for a one bedroom is over 100 per cent of our incomes in most cases.”
The Lions Society says they told tenants that they are “free to explore any other rental options now in anticipation of Society’s future building plans.”
“While the Society is making every effort to rehouse existing tenants into its other buildings as suites become available, it is a lengthy process and if the tenants are able to arrange acceptable alternate rental accommodation for themselves in the interim, the Society encourages them to do so.”
Current Greenecourt tenants will be given priority for the new suites when they are completed.
Before the project can proceed, the Lions Society will have to apply to the District of Sechelt for rezoning of the property. Construction of the new housing is expected to take at least a year.