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Family Housing Opens in Vernon

VERNON, British Columbia, September 30, 2002 — Kikanee Estates, a 40-unit affordable housing development for families and people with disabilities, opened in Vernon today. This project combines the contribution of the federal and provincial governments, through the Canada BC Affordable Housing Program.

Okanagan-Vernon MLA Tom Christensen; Lorraine Verokosky, manager of special projects for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.; and Val Chiba, president of the Vernon Native Housing Society board, attended the official opening.

"The Government of Canada is working closely with the provincial government and other partners to bring quality, affordable housing to the people of Vernon," said Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of David Collenette, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. "Successes such as Kikanee Estates are key to developing strong communities, not just here in British Columbia but throughout Canada."

"The province is committed to working with local governments and non-profit organizations to meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable British Columbians," said Tom Christensen, on behalf of George Abbott, provincial minister responsible for housing. "The provincial government, through BC Housing, is working in partnership with the Vernon Native Housing Society and the federal government to provide a safe, supportive environment for families to raise their children."

Kikanee Estates is located at 5701 Heritage Dr. between Vernon and Okanagan Lake, across the street from an orchard. The development's seven buildings contain one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom units, six of which are wheelchair-accessible. It has two play areas for young children and a basketball court for youth, and is close to shopping, schools and transit. Kikanee is the name of a local fish better known as Kokanee, which is an important food source for First Nations Okanagan people.

The federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, contributed $600,000 toward the capital costs as part of the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement. The provincial government, through BC Housing, is providing $7.2 million for operating subsidies to the society over 35 years as part of the provincial housing program.

"An increasing number of households in Vernon are in need of affordable housing." said Chiba. "This new development provides safe, affordable homes that will help sustain the well-being and stability of families living here.

"The Vernon Native Housing Society, which manages the development, is a non-profit organization formed in 1989 to provide affordable rental housing for low-income First Nations people living in the Vernon area. The society operates two other developments through CMHC's urban native program. Kikanee Estates will be open to First Nations and other families and people with disabilities."

Kikanee Estates was made possible by the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement. The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute $88.7 million under the agreement over the next five years towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide $29.7 million annually to subsidize the operating costs of these units as part of a strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbia's most vulnerable residents.

This news release is available online at


Cris Leykauf
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
Phone: (604) 439-4758

Karen Gerein
Housing Manager
Vernon Native Housing Society
Phone: (250) 542-2834

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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