B.C. government, United Church, partner in new affordable housing development

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Como Lake United Church in Coquitlam. Photo via Google Maps

The United Church in British Columbia is stepping forward to help address the province’s affordable housing crisis by offering up some of its properties for development.

Premier John Horgan announced that the province will spend $12 million to help develop 414 units in four cities, beginning with 75 units on church property in Coquitlam.

Horgan says its essential for the province to establish partnerships between landowners, developers and municipalities in order to build much needed affordable housing.

The 75 units will be designed for individuals, seniors and families with an average income between $50,000 and $100,000.

Rev. Jan Bihl with Como Lake United Church says as existing infrastructure is aging and congregations are shrinking, the church has been looking for a solution to redevelop its properties.

She says this plan allows the church to leverage its prime real estate, take care of its facilities and provide a benefit to the community with affordable housing.

“We had to do something innovative to try to figure out how to repurpose properties,” she said. “Our faith teaches us to serve those in need, and here and now, one of the greatest needs is affordable housing for middle-income families.”