Harbour View redevelopment map (M’akola Housing Society)

Uncertain future for KAPS location and rent as McKay housing gets redeveloped

Affordable housing units in Prince Rupert to be revitalized by BC Housing

The Kaien Anti-Poverty society will likely have to move in 2020 after B.C. Housing informed tenants of plans to revitalize Harbour View Gardens on McKay St.

Tenants were informed of the plans through a letter stating that they may have to move in summer 2020, at the earliest, for the renovations.

“We want to create a long-term plan to redevelop Harbour View Gardens, to replace, expand and revitalize the affordable housing stock in our community. Due to the age and condition of the site, many of the buildings are starting to require extensive and costly repairs,” the letter from M’akola, the housing provider, reads.

The revitalization project will take at least a year to plan before construction begins. The master plan will focus on the lot north of McKay St.

Along with residents, KAPS will also be affected by the changes. Colleen Hermanson, executive director of the society said KAPS will be part of the redevelopment however, it is hard to know what demolition will look like and what will be built.

Residents were asked to attend a consultation meeting at the end of August to provide feedback for the plan. Hermanson said they were presented with the plans but were not told if rent would increase or if they will be able to move back in.

READ MORE: Rupert renters are overcrowded and overspending

“When it comes to dollars and cents we have no clue what it will look like,” Hermanson said. “We hope we are going to stay but we have nothing in writing so it’s hard to say.”

“After the master planning process is complete, we will have more detailed information about when relocation will be necessary for tenants,” states the letter.

The letter also says that efforts will be made to match available rental units with individual needs for the tenants to move. “Reasonable costs” for moving and utility reconnection will be covered by B.C. Housing.

Hermanson said she is unsure when the move will take place or what it will look like.

“In my head, it is making me think that people will be pretty much playing tag — going into one location temporarily and move into a new building once it is done.”

READ MORE: Letter to the Editor: On the topic of affordable housing in Prince Rupert

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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