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First Hoy Creek Co-op in Coquitlam will be up in 2023

Owned and operated by the Community Land Trust/Hoy Creek Housing Co-op, the purpose-built rental project calls for 132 non-market units on the City Centre site.

When Antoinette Swaby moved into Coquitlam’s Hoy Creek Housing Co-op, she heard that new residential buildings would soon replace the current stock.

That was 16 years ago.

Today, there’s a big hole in the ground for the first phase of the campus redevelopment, a project that’s been difficult to assemble because of its complexity and the number of partners involved, Mayor Richard Stewart said.

Last year Coquitlam city council OK’d one of the last components for construction to begin, inking a deal with TL Housing Solutions for a six-storey wood-framed structure in the middle of the co-op site, at Glen Drive and Guildford Way.

Owned and operated by the Community Land Trust/Hoy Creek Housing Co-op, the purpose-built rental project calls for 132 non-market units — a dozen of them fitted for accessible needs — with underground parking.

It also calls for financial backing from several agencies such as the City of Coquitlam ($3.3 million, under its Affordable Housing Reserve Fund program) and BC Housing ($13.2 million). In exchange, the city will receive about $585,000 in development cost changes to pay for area infrastructure.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Fin Donnelly said the first replacement building at 2905 Glen Dr. will be complete by the summer of 2023.

“I know Coquitlam is very excited about it,” he said, adding that the co-op “has been an important part of our community.”

Swaby, along with fellow co-op residents Vince Montgomery and Bertha Hernandez, told the Tri-City News that they’re looking forward to their new digs.

And they’re hoping the rents will be affordable: Currently, a two-bedroom suite at the co-op is $1,050 a month, Swaby said.

Besides their new units, the co-op residents will also have transit passes and lifetime memberships to the Modo car sharing program; the combined value of the Transportation Demand Management measures is about $376,000 to offset the onsite parking reduction, according to a city report.

Tiffany Duzita, executive director of the Community Land Trust Group of Societies, said the redevelopment came after her organization invested $7 million to get the 40-year-old co-op out of receivership.

It fell into financial trouble after the townhomes were demolished following a fire in 2016, and its residents were relocated to other rental units. The loss of those members meant that the co-op was unable to pay its mortgage and the property was transferred to the Community Land Trust of B.C. 

Once built out, the organization and co-op will see about 300 new affordable homes added to the campus, to replace all three aging apartment blocks.

Stewart said the redevelopment project is next to Hoy Creek, which — like the co-op — will soon see a renewal with the return of the salmon.