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General News · 18th January 2022
The Cortes Island Seniors Society (CISS) and the Cortes Community Housing Society (CHS) are delighted to report highlights from our affordable housing work in 2021.

• The Cortes Island Seniors Village Expansion was completed with the addition of 4 more cottages, which have been fully occupied since Feb/2021.
• On the adjacent Rainbow Ridge property, we retired $345,000 worth of land debt held by local loaners, thanks to the generousity of local donors.
• A 6-acre subdivision application is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure (MOTI) for a new road and stormwater system to support a clustered housing design for 20 new rental homes within walking distance to shops & services in Mansons Landing.
• A water license has been applied for the Rainbow Ridge neighourhood.
• The Cortes Community Housing Society (CHS) was officially granted Charitable Status and we continue our fundraising drive towards building 20 affordable homes for singles, families and seniors.
• Our grant application to BC Housing’s 2021 Community Housing Fund was not selected to begin construction in 2022. We have been encouraged by them to continue with the Design Development phase so that we can confidently present a Class-B Budget, and then create Construction Drawings. We intend to be more shovel ready for their next grant intake, whilst simultaneously exploring alternative avenues of financing to assure that the project keeps moving forward.
• Issued Request for Proposals (RFP’s) to hire our Design Development team of engineers and architects for this next phase of work on the site infrastructure.
• We have hired Iredale Architecture from Victoria, to help refine our housing designs with their many years of experience on the Gulf Islands.
• Updating the housing survey in partnership with the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness (CRDCEH) to confirm the need for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units, rental rate appraisals, ancillary support and services required.
• A new Trail Initiative was launched to improve public access on the Rainbow Ridge property and create better walking and biking to and from the south end of the island, through Siskin Lane Forest, connecting through the Rainbow Ridge property to the school, and through the CCEDA commercial property to access shops and services in Mansons Landing.
• Currently there are 156 people registered on the Rainbow Ridge waiting list, over 75% are local individuals and resident island families who are seeking a stable year-round rental home.
• During 2021 over $120,000 cash, PLUS an e-scooter, PLUS another piece of property have been donated to help fund this desperately needed affordable housing project.

We offer our deep gratitude for all your support and in making this long list of accomplishments possible, because we know it takes a community to raise a village.

Elizabeth Anderson,
President, Cortes Community Housing Society (CHS)