PORT McNEILL — With a twirl of the finger from the foreman, a long, narrow house lifted into the air over Grenville Place last week. After a short swing at the end of a crane’s cable, it was gently place on a waiting foundation as construction workers moved in to secure it to a neighboring unit.
With that action, the Town of Port McNeill moved another step closer to opening six new low-income housing units, a process nearly two years in the making.
The units were provided and delivered by B.C. Housing, with Abernethy Contracting of Port McNeill and volunteers from Port McNeill Rotary Club providing site preparation and additional labour.
Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney, working on behalf of a society created to work for low-cost senior housing in the town, learned nearly two years ago that B.C. Housing would be supplying low-cost housing units to communities throughout the province.
“I put in an application right away, and it turns out I was the first one to apply,” Furney said after walking the short distance from the Town office to the worksite to observe the installation. “We subsequently talked to B.C. Housing and they apparently got too high of a quotation to move the housing from Vancouver to here, and they decided we would move to the back of the line.”
The units have finally made it to the North Island, but even after the construction crews made quick work of moving them from truck trailers to the waiting foundation, they are not precisely move-in ready.
“As you can see, the six units are here and they’re in good shape,” he said. “But there are no appliances in them, and they’ve given everyone else appliances. I’m going to talk to B.C. Housing again about treating us as fairly as everyone else.”
Otherwise, the occasion of the homes’ arrival was treated as a positive in the community. Several Rotarians dropped by to watch the crane move the homes, along with Councillor Shirley Ackland and some members of the original senior housing society.
And both laborers and spectators enjoyed the day in comfort, as unseasonably sunny skies prevailed.
“We had the weather committee working today and they got the sun shining, so everything is working out really good,” Furney said.