Original article at: http://www.comoxvalleyecho.com/news/322852051.html
by Michael Briones – Comox Valley Echo

The request for proposals for the Braidwood Housing Project drew only one bidder.

But it was a joint proposal from the M’akola Group of Societies and the Wachiay Friendship Centre. The project, which topped the list of strategic priorities of council, is a 30-unit complex at 810 Braidwood Rd. that would be built to help wide-range of in-need and at risk tenants, and also accommodate familes with children and seniors.

Courtenay council approved staff’s recommendation to appoint both groups as joint sponsors for a five year term.

The uncertainty over funding of the project was cited as one of the major stumbling blocks in the RFP. Salvation Army submitted a letter but did not put in a proposal as there was no commitment of operating subsidies from BC Housing.

Roger Kishi, the Wachiay Friendship Centre’s director of homeless and housing programs, said this was an major milestone in the efforts to address homelessness and provision of affordable housing in the Comox Valley.

“It’s an important step forward.” said Kishi. “Us submitting a proposal for the RFP was a challenging effort and it definitely demonstrates the commitment our organizations have. There is a commitment to work with the other local community agencies who have supported our proposal by also giving letters of expression that they are willing to work with us in the provision of services to potential residents of the Braidwood Project.”

The appointed proponents objective is to develop an affordable housing development for co-ed homeless, or at-risk-of-homelessness singles, mental health and substance use clients, Aboriginal people, and people with physical disabilities. They have garnered the support of other groups such as the Comox Bay Care Society, LUSH Valley, Aids Vancouver Island and Comox Valley Association of Registered Nurses of BC.

Council has also given staff permission to proceed with due diligence works that would cost the city around $12,000. They include a hazmat survey of the existing house on the site ($3,500), an environmental site assessment to determine soil contamination ($2,500, a geotechnical survey of soils condition and capacity ($3,000), and a civil engineering assessment of the capacity of existing water main, storm drains and sanitary sewer services to the site ($3,000).

CAO David Allen was also appointed the city project manager and would be required to make a quarterly report to council.