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New Coquitlam affordable homes get $46.1M federal boost to complete project's investment

Robert Nicklin Place will have 164 units for low-income families and is set to be finished by late 2024.

Money is flowing in from Ottawa for a Coquitlam housing project that promises 164 affordable units for low-income families.

Construction is already underway for Robert Nicklin Place — located at 3100 Ozada Ave. in the city centre area, also known as Pinetree Court — and the federal government is pitching in $46.1 million to complete the investment.

The announcement was made today (March 7) at the site by politicians at all levels of government; the project is scheduled to be finished by late 2024.

Originally, 57 units were in the Affordable Housing Societies' plan to Coquitlam city council for the six-storey apartment complex.

That number tripled in the fourth and final readings in July 2021, and of the total, 90 will be non-market rental units.

The remaining 74 will be funded by BC Housing — at a cost of $7.4 million — to mix the affordability rates: 15 suites will be at shelter rates, 37 at rent-geared-to-income and 22 will be at the low end of market rental rates based on average rents for the neighbourhood calculated by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"These new homes are part of our society's goal to add 1,400 new affordable rental homes to our portfolio by 2030," explains AHS CEO Stephen Bennett in a statement, who's organization will be operating Robert Nicklin Place.

"This incredible project has brought together partners from three levels of government, and when complete will deliver rental units that will be affordable for a broad range of income levels."

Coquitlam is providing $3.3 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (ARHF).

"I think this is an incredibly valuable project because we have a whole bunch of these older rental projects in Coquitlam that need to be replaced and they need to be upgraded and made more energy-efficient," Mayor Richard Stewart said last summer during a council meeting about the project. He was also on hand for the feds' investment announcement.

“That said, there’s a bunch of people in our community who would have said this is perfectly good housing that they’ve torn down.”

Stewart was joined by Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Fin Donnelly, Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon and Ahmed Hussen, Canada's federal minister of housing, diversity and inclusion.

When finished, Robert Nicklin Place is set to be close to Coquitlam community amenities such as transit, including walking distance from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station, local schools, parks and a childcare centre.

- with a file from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News