By Steve Hubrecht
[email protected]

The Farmhouse affordable housing project is now officially open, with some residents having already moved in, and more on the way soon.

“We are going through our shortlist and making arrangements for the moves,” Family Dynamix Association Executive Director Pat Cope told the Pioneer. “Our hope is that in a month, all the units will be occupied.”

The project is a joint effort between local nonprofit Family Dynamix Association, the District of Invermere, the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), and the provincial government. It has created 30 new affordable homes (spread across six townhouse buildings) for low income families, low income seniors, and women and children fleeing domestic violence. Family Dynamix manages the Invermere Farmhouse and offers other support to those living in the buildings.

In all total, the Farmhouse has the potential to accommodate up to 66 people, outlined Cope.

Even with residents now starting to live in the Farmhouse, Cope said “the mission is not complete…this is a small piece of a much larger solution that’s needed…Of course we are glad that some people in need of a home now have one. But we are in the midst of a housing crisis. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”

“I’m very, very happy they are able to finally open the doors at the Farmhouse,” Invermere Mayor Al Miller told the Pioneer. “From the initial discussions, through the construction, final development, and then months of paperwork, it’s been a long road. But it’s a tremendous asset for the community and it was worth every bit of effort. We’ve struggled for many years now with housing and this will help.” He added that he is especially happy that the project includes housing for vulnerable populations, as “that is desperately needed.”

Miller echoed Cope’s sentiments about this being just the first step of many needed to deal with a larger issue.

“It’s a big problem. This housing crisis has been around for years, and it’s gotten significantly worse in the last few years,” he said, adding that even back in 1988, when he moved to the valley, he struggled to find a place to rent for weeks. “It is something we are working on. The 30 units (at the Farmhouse) are great, but we need to go so much further than that. We are looking at all sorts of opportunities to do better.”

Miller said kudos are in order for the Family Dynamix Association as well as Generation Homes, which built the Farmhouse units. “Family Dynamix has been outstanding in their drive to get this done, and Generation Homes did an excellent job with the design. It was not easy to make the project happen on that lot, but they did,” he said.