Nanaimo church developing affordable housing

Nanaimo church developing affordable housing

WATCH: Brechin United Curch in Nanaimo is one location that’s been slated for affordable housing by the B.C. Government. Kendall Hanson reports.

Shane Rietzel is desperate for a permanent place for his family to call home.

He, his fiance and children are currently living at a Nanaimo motel.

They were renting a home that sold forcing them to move earlier this year. He says finding another appropriate place to live has been next to impossible.

“For every one place that’s available here in town there are at least five or six families looking,” said Rietzel.

Places are available to rent with a high income and a great credit rating but Rietzel has neither.

He says his predicament has been extremely stressful.

“Most the places that we’ve been looking at are $1,700 to $1,800 and some of the landlords are being really greedy about it,” said Rietzel. “They’re actually increasing the prices depending on how many people are coming and looking at them.”

It’s a situation Linda Braid has heard often when volunteering at the food bank at her church.

“They have a comfortable salary but they just don’t have enough to make ends meet when you’re talking about rent, utilities, food vehicles that sort of thing,” said Braid, who is vice-chair of the Brechin United Church council.

That’s part of the reason Brechin United is redeveloping its property.

Not only will it tear down and build a new church it, with funding with B.C. Housing, it will also build 74 rental units, 38 will be affordable housing, with rents under $1000 per month.

“Our faith teaches us to serve the community in whatever ways we can and now we want to serve people as far as offering housing to them,” said Braid.

Its construction will begin this summer to be completed between late 2019 and early 2020.

Back searching for a home Rietzel says the government should be helping create more affordable housing.

“But we need it now not later,” added Rietzel

It’s a critical situation for him, as he tries to provide stability for his family.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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