The North Island Seniors Housing Foundation (NISHF) is a local non-profit society with charitable status whose goal is to build a housing project which will provide affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. The information in this article is intended to up-date the public on the Foundation’s progress to date and is consistent with its core commitment to transparency.
The membership of the Foundation reflects the multicultural demographics of the North Island and the elected directors are as follows: President, Gordon Patterson; Vice President, Benjamin Esau; Treasurer, Dan Foster; and Secretary, Donna Gault. Bud Masales and George Clarke are founding members of the building committee.
More information about NISHF can be found at: http://www.nishousingfoundation.com In addition, the North Island Mall has offered space for a NISHF presentation board to keep the public informed about progress on the project – coming soon!
NISHF is working hard and making excellent and exciting progress toward their goal;
• The foundation requested a parcel of municipal land as a suitable site for the building next to the North Island Mall and council unanimously approved the request for the land, issuing a memorandum of understanding for up to eight acres of District lands. Council is now working on the issue of a lease for the property and the necessary zoning adjustments.
• The foundation has retained a Victoria consulting firm to represent and assist NISHF in project development and has a working alliance with the CEO of the Port Alberni Shelter Society who recently completed a similar housing project.
• With assistance from the consultant, the foundation has acquired some seed funding from BC Housing to finance the preliminary geotechnical, architectural and environmental studies required to then submit a formal application for sufficient funds to proceed with construction. Pacificus Biological will conduct the environmental studies which could be completed this month and Port Hardy Bulldozing will assist with geotechnical work.
• NISHF has received outstanding commitments from private donors totalling $339,000 to date.
• NISHF has undertaken a survey and consultation process with several North Island stakeholders, service organizations and seniors and has also received federal and provincial parliamentary opinion that this project, when completed, will relieve constituent concerns over seniors’ housing.
• NISHF has received favourable Kwakiutl First Nation support and has asked for their input, participation in the Foundation and for permission to build on their traditional lands.
At this time NISHF is seeking input from the community about the project such as what kind of services and programmes you think would be appropriate. While the Ministry of Housing has standard requirements for the accommodation design, the building committee also welcomes design suggestions from interested parties.
The foundation is also seeking letters of support for the project from all facets of society.
The Foundation has received several expressions of rental interest already which validates and supports the need for a seniors’ residence on the North Island, however, more expressions of rental interest would further enhance the Foundation’s application for ministry funding. If you are considering residency for yourself at some time in the future, however distant, the Foundation would appreciate your written expression of residency interest. A rental interest form is available on the website or you may obtain a form by contacting one of directors.
Tax-deductible donations are also most welcome and may be made via the website or delivered to the Foundation, care/of Foster and Company, PO Box 698, Port Hardy, BC. V0N 2P0
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