Comox Valley posted Jan 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM

By Spencer Anderson

Comox Valley Echo Staff

The Comox Valley Transition Society and the province have announced a new fourplex in Courtenay will serve as affordable housing for women and children who have fled domestic violence.

There are already four women and six children living in the development, which was purchased through a $515,000 contribution from the province and a $100,000 contribution from the Comox Valley Regional District and the Town of Comox.

The province is also financing payment of the mortgage of the property, said Transition Society executive director Heather Ney.

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae was also present for the announcement, representing Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for housing. A total of $600,000 has been committed to the project, the province says.

McRae said he brought the project to Coleman’s attention, and called it an important investment in housing in the community.

Ney said “stars aligned” for the project – which has been on the non-profit’s wish list for the past 30 years – thanks to the involvement of local developer Peter Croonen, who approached the society with the idea of using the housing development for the affordable housing project.

Croonen held off selling property on the chance funding would come through, which it did.

“Knowing that the chances were there, and how much (they) would benefit, it was an easy thing for me to do,” he said.

The sale closed in mid-December, and the women and children began moving in shortly after Christmas.

Ney said three of the tenants had been residing at the society’s Lilli House transition house for more than 100 days “because of the lack of affordable, safe, appropriate housing.”

“So it’s been a real gift, and the sad part is that that’s it; now we need another fourplex” or other types of housing to meet demand, she said.

The tenants will pay rent scaled towards their income and will be allowed to stay indefinitely, although Ney said she expects some of the tenants will will eventually move on to other housing.