The Ambrosia housing development in Keremeos is getting close to being ready. (Keremeos Review)

The Ambrosia housing development in Keremeos is getting close to being ready. (Keremeos Review)

Long-awaited Keremeos housing projects nearing completion

The first will be ready by July 1 and the other 2 soon will follow

Keremeos residents can look forward to their greatly awaited housing projects being ready this summer, including the new Ambrosia complex.

The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society said Cactus Court will finally be ready to take in residents by July 2022.

“We’re looking at occupancy at July 1, obviously we’re not going to do move-ins in one month because we need time to do interviews and select, but July 1 is a pretty safe bet,” said Sarah Martin, the executive director of the LSCSS.

The 16 new residential units at Cactus Court were originally scheduled to be occupied by June 2020, but deficiencies in their construction from the original contractor left the building empty.

Mierau Contractors, the company who is building the Ambrosia development, were hired to take over and fix the accessibility and other issues in Cactus Court and Quail Crossing.

READ MORE: Delayed Keremeos BC Housing projects expected ready summer 2022

The 47-unit Ambrosia building will be ready following Cactus Court. The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society’s community programs will be housed in Ambrosia as well.

Ambrosia broke ground in 2020, and is on track to to come close to its original 2022 opening date. The project was challenged by global supply chain issues and the recent natural disasters of the November flooding closing down major highways.

“This crew has been really hustling to make up for any time lost. This is how it’s supposed to go,” said Martin.

Once Ambrosia is completed, it will offer a mix of units that will provide affordable, subsidized and supportive housing.

READ MORE: Breaking down what Keremeos’ Ambrosia offers

While some units will be rented close to the market rates, others will be supported by the government and those other units to allow for other units to be rented at lowered rates for people on disability payments or limited retirement funds. Seven of the units are set to be fully wheelchair accessible, with three studio apartments and four one-bedroom units.

“It is going to be a challenging job, and our first job like this, to occupy a mixed-income building,” said Martin.

A date has not been announced yet for when Ambrosia will be fully ready to move-in, but it’s not a project that will happen without fanfare.

Behind the scenes is also a hectic time at the LSCSS as they gear up for the three developments to come online within several months of each other. That includes bringing on plenty of additional staff to get them ready to for when people move in.

“It was supposed to methodically unfold over a couple years, but that’s not how it worked out.”

Fundraising for the LSCSS to set up their operations in the bottom floor commercial space of Ambrosia is also nearing the finish line. The last estimate had over $441,000 in donations out of the $500,000 goal, including the donation of the land which Ambrosia sits.

Those fundraising efforts will be continuing over the next year as the LSCSS deals with any future costs of getting established in their new facility.

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