With seniors having already plopped down their chesterfields, rolled in their scooters and placed their living room ferns in their new Kiwanis Towers units, representatives from the City of Richmond, the Province of B.C., Polygon Homes and Richmond Kiwanis Seniors Centre were on hand Wednesday to officially open the unique public-private partnership that created 296 new subsidized housing units.
"This is an important milestone for our City’s Affordable Housing Strategy and helps meet a critical area of need within our community," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.
While all the old residents were able to move back in the project recieved about 750 applications.
The 296-unit Kiwanis Towers development replaces an old 122-unit complex and will be operated by Richmond Kiwanis Senior Citizens Housing Society in conjunction with BC Housing and the City of Richmond.
In a deal with developer Polygon Homes the Kiwanis group sold the old five-acre property in return for constructing a pair of 15-storey buildings that face Minoru Blvd. across from Richmond Centre mall. Polygon is still developing three other towers on the remainder of the land as part of its Carrera high-end condo which features views of Minoru Park.
The development will feature meeting rooms, games rooms, a fitness studio, hair salon, courtyard gardens and plug-ins for scooters.
Tenants must not earn more than $38,000 per year per individual or $44,000 per year per couple, according to a City of Richmond news release last September.
The city contributed $20.8 million using money it gained over time from development charges (affordable housing capital reserves).
The provincial government contributed $19.7 million and Kiwanis contributed $21 million by selling land to developer Polygon.
Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat helped open the towers. This year, more than 102,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services, according to the province of B.C.