Grand Forks, devastated by flooding this spring, will be getting up to 100 new homes as the province expedites plans for two new housing projects.

“People in Grand Forks are experiencing extraordinary loss, and that is why we are taking extraordinary measures to make sure they receive the help they need as quickly as possible,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“The Province is fast-tracking these much-needed housing projects to support the community in long-term recovery efforts.”

The news comes following reports the City of Grand Forks wants to purchase and demolish about 60 homes in the North Ruckle and 16 from South Ruckle areas of the community — two areas hardest hit by the floods in May.

The area would then be returned to a flood plain.

Through the new Building BC: Community Housing Fund, the Province is moving ahead with plans to build more than 50 affordable rental homes for families and seniors, so they are able to stay in their community.

Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2019.

A second project is also underway to help people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Grand Forks.

BC Housing has purchased property to build up to 50 homes and provide support services, including meal programs and life and employment skills training.

These homes will be funded through the new Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund. If a development permit is approved by the city, construction is expected to start in January 2019.

In addition, a new transition housing project is under construction for women and children fleeing violence. The project will provide a safe place for women and children in Grand Forks in need of shelter and trauma care. This housing is expected to be completed in December 2018.

Residents impacted by the spring flooding in Grand Forks and within the Kootenay Boundary Regional District are currently being assisted through the Household Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP), with support of the Canadian Red Cross.

The Province has committed than $7 billion over 10 years to build affordable housing, including the Community Housing Fund, through which it is investing #1.9 billion to develop 14,350 units of mixed-income, affordable rental housing for families and seniors.

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