Construction is complete on a condo project that used an innovative approach to bring attainable housing to Fernie. Veneto Place is a joint partnership between Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), BC Housing, the City of Fernie, Fernie Family Housing Society (FFHS) and Veneto Place Properties Ltd.

The 45-unit strata condominium complex is providing attainable rental and ownership opportunities for Fernie residents.

Originally brought forward by the developer, Parastone Developments, Veneto Place
addresses issues raised by an independent consultant hired by the City to review affordable housing opportunities in Fernie.

“This project is unlike any other in the province that we know of,” said Johnny Strilaeff, CBT’s VP of Investments. “Not only is it an investment opportunity for CBT, but it also meets one of our goals in terms of addressing affordable housing issues in the Basin. This project brings to mind what our seniors’ care facilities looked like ten years ago, and I hope it will be a model for similar projects in other communities moving forward.”

All partners in the project are committed to the attainable housing project, and are selling ad renting the units at 20 per cent below market value. CBT is contributing completion financing of $4.5 million for the project, while BC Housing is providing Veneto Place: Attainable Housing in Fernie interim construction financing of $7 million.

“Given the amount of effort and alignment required from all parties, the commitment of each partner was critical,” added Strilaeff.

“The construction of this development is a testament to the power of partnerships,” said Simon Howse, on behalf of Veneto Properties. “We need to acknowledge the efforts of our federal, provincial and municipal leaders. The Veneto project received tremendous support from Columbia Basin Trust and the community at large was instrumental in making attainable housing a priority in Fernie.”

The project consists of three separate apartment style buildings, with 15 units in each
building. All buildings will contain a mix of ownership and rental properties:
• Nine units will be retained by the developer and rented through FFHS;
• 12 units will be purchased by the Province through BC Housing to be used as affordable rentals managed by FFHS; and
• 24 units will be sold to local residents at attainable pricing with permanent housing agreements registered to the title.

Says Corrie Hurlburt, Property Manager at FFHS: “The addition of the 45 units to the affordable housing stock in Fernie will go a long way to address some of the identified gaps in housing. The units provide an excellent option for local renters to transition to affordable home ownership, alleviating the potential for stagnation
within the rental sector. We appreciate the outstanding work done by Parastone to successfully bring all the partners together in such a short period of time.”

Adds Fernie Mayor, Cindy Corrigan: “Veneto Place is a welcome addition to the City
of Fernie. Affordable housing is a key concern and this is a great first step in addressing it. Moreover, City staff and Parastone have been working toward establishing a partnership which will ensure the affordability of housing in the region in the future. Many thanks to all the partners for taking the initiative and moving
forward on this project.”

A show suite is available for viewing. To schedule a viewing or for additional information contact Parastone Developments at: 250-423-4136

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