More than four years after a fatal fire destroyed a senior’s apartment building in Langley City construction of a replacement housing project is officially underway.
Located at 20355 54th Ave., a new eight-storey apartment building with 101 single-bedroom units will replace the Birch, a three-storey, 66-unit apartment building that was consumed by a fire in 2017, the provincial government announced Tuesday morning. Sixty people lost their homes in the fire with many moved into units in the other buildings on the site.
The building will be owned and operated by the Langley Lions Housing Society (LLHS), a non-profit that currently operates seven apartment buildings on its 203rd Street property, some more than 40 years old.
“Replacing the Birch building with 101 units in a highrise – the tallest building in the City of Langley – is a milestone in the provision of affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities in our community,” said Jeanette Dagenais, executive director of LLHS.
Residents of the former site will be offered an opportunity to move into the new building, which is slated to be complete by summer 2023.
“Our government is proud to work with partners like the Langley Lions Housing Society to build new, modern homes so that people who call Langley home do not have to go elsewhere to find affordable housing,” said Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East.
“This new redevelopment will ensure that seniors and people with disabilities in Langley can continue to live healthily and comfortably, surrounded by the services and people they count on.”
The under-construction building will include an indoor lounge area, while a larger shared-activity area will be located at the adjacent Evergreen Timbers building. Outdoor space includes gardens and walkways where residents can gather and socialize.
Of the 101 unit, 30 will be designated assisted-living units. LLHS, in partnership with Fraser Health, will provide support and care for residents with disabilities living in these units.
Seniors with low to moderate incomes and people with disabilities in Langley will soon have access to more than 100 new affordable homes as construction begins on a redevelopment project in the community.https://t.co/t5LivvxLvD pic.twitter.com/Xg5j8DexnN— BC Housing (@BC_Housing) August 17, 2021
The provincial government, through BC Housing, has provided a grant of approximately $11 million from the Community Housing Fund toward the construction of this project, while the City of Langley has provided a grant of approximately $150,000.
BC Housing will also provide the society with an annual operating subsidy of approximately $444,000.
The construction of this building is part of the LLHS’s larger redevelopment of the site, which, the province says, will see the development of 981 units of affordable rental seniors housing.
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