Remember the saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”? Usually said to keep our spirits up if we had worked hard for a job or a grade that we didn’t attain. It’s an encouragement offered us when attempting a long reach.

Now is a good time to conjure that sentiment as we tell you the disappointing news that our application to BC Housing for financing 20 units of affordable housing on Rainbow Ridge — was not one of the six chosen to move forward on the islands this year.  We worked so hard to tick as many boxes as we could, but we were not the only ones, many communities were able to do likewise and the demand far exceeded BC Housing’s funding allocations for this year.

The Cortes Community Housing Society (CHS) had taken this possibility into account and the next steps are in place for moving forward.  Key steps we are already taking:

  1. Submitting a subdivision plan with a new access road, drainage, and storm water design for approval by the Ministry of Transportation.
  2. Seeking additional pre-development grants and loans from BC Housing and other sources to advance project designs to the construction drawing stage.
  3. Securing a water license for Rainbow Ridge.
  4. Updating the housing survey to confirm facts such as the right quantity of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units, market rent appraisals, ancillary support and services.
  5. Securing funding for public trails and energy efficient upgrades.
  6. Debriefing with BC Housing on June 28th to prioritize our pre-development tasks for the next grant intake, so that our housing project will be shovel ready.

In the life of a long project, there is so much we can never predict at the onset — and the past year has been exceptional on so many levels, but what we do know is that we are a resilient community and this temporary setback will not stop our commitment or enthusiasm for this project.

It takes a community to raise a village, and it takes a community to continue holding this bold vision for Rainbow Ridge and the residents of Cortes Island.  Of course, we will try, try again. We will not stop trying until we succeed.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Anderson, CHS President
On behalf of the Cortes Island Seniors Society (CISS) and
Cortes Community Housing Society (CHS)