Tuesday, January 17, 2023

With finding a place to rent getting harder and harder these days, it's time for BC Housing to update community on McKay Street plans

With Renovations once again a hot topic in Prince Rupert
some guidance on past plans for housing yet to be 
delivered is required 

As we outlined last week, the issue of renoviction is making for some early conversation pieces for the community in 2023.

And with the ongoing challenge of finding a place to rent for those in the community, it seems it will soon become a topic that Prince Rupert City Council will once again hear about often and have to address as the year ahead moves forward.

The first telegraph towards that came last week with word of plans for renoviction for the Harbour View apartments at Seal Cove and questions towards the effectiveness of the City's bylaws passed in 2022.

And with City Council perhaps to hear from the public on January 23rd towards that topic, they may want to get in touch with the MLA for the North Coast and ask Jennifer Rice to lend a hand in moving some potential home development forward.

They may even want to invite the MLA to the January 23rd session to hear from the residents and offer up some notes on what the province may be able to do towards assisting them as they seek out new accommodation in a town that has few options for them.

And as more and more apartments seemingly come off the rental listings, it would seem a timely moment for an update on a development that was first announced in 2019. 

A project which still has yet to put down a foundation towards an ambitious redevelopment proposal, to be called Harbour View Gardens.

BC Housing's McKay Street plans clearly are well behind schedule, with little in the way of an update provided to their information guide for the project.

The last note of engagement on the project was a Tenant Open House of June 2021, the development one which was supposed to be underway in 2022 with completion by 2024 

Since then, the only activity that has been seen on the site for the proposed development is the fencing off of a number of townhouse rows that are no longer available for residents and occasional visits from Prince Rupert Fire Rescue.

Townhomes on McKay street, closed and fenced off 

The Harbour View Gardens project, which is a featured development on the opening page of the Let's Talk Housing  page on the website looks like a wonderful place to live ... if only there was actually a building to move into. 

The plans are something that would certainly help to alleviate the dire state of rental accommodation in the community and would take some of the stress off the current situation facing those seeking a place to live. 

And perhaps, it could also serve to take some heat off of City Council as well, which is bearing the brunt of much of the community anger on the lack of housing options.

Vacant land on Kootenay once hosted a number of BC Housing 
units, what the fate of that property is has yet to be announced

Another area of note in the area that was noted for redevelopment is the Kootenay area of land where BC Housing demolished living units a number of years ago. 

That land has remained vacant ever since, with few updates to come since February of 2021, on whether the housing plan for that location will ever move forward.

The NDP government has been increasingly putting the focus on delivering on more housing options across the province, particularly since David Eby took office as Premier in the fall.

That's a theme that Ms. Rice has relayed on behalf of the NDP frequently through her social media stream.

We did forward an email to Ms. Rice yesterday,  to see if the MLA had any news to share on the path forward for Harbourview Gardens.

A reply from her constituency assistant Joshua McLeod advises that her office will forward some info once they have it.

So when we know more, we'll share more on the glacial pace of development of some much needed housing stock.

More notes on housing themes can be explored through our archive page.


  1. There has been zero maintenance on these properties for years. Many of these units with little work would still be livable.
    BC Housing should not of been allowed to evict tenants until such time as the have a new plan complete with permits in place.
    The city has been courting BC Housing then the housing authority screws the people they are supposed to be helping.

  2. All tenants were relocated to empty apartments rather than evicted. There may have been some cases of tenants not being given a transfer only if they were currently not following the rules of tenancy.

    This transferring meant though that there were many units empty for a period of time until the transfer could be made.

    Looking forward to some movement on more places being built as the ones who or transferred we're promised to be moved into new units when all this building is done. Then the places they are in will be torn down and rebuilt. That's a long-term plan from what I've heard.

    1. Yes, no evictions in this instance, but there has been a significant reduction in the volume of available units for the community from all of the demolition and the slow pace of replacement. That has built on the already challenging situation from all of the other structures that we've seen destroyed through past fires and other situations NCR

    2. Not all tenants were relocated to empty apartments. I know of three that were evicted from Kootenay Ave.

      Let BC Housing provide the numbers of relocated vs evicted.