Skip to content

BC Housing may finally knock down this dilapidated Port Coquitlam home

Funding may be the sticking point in getting this house demolished — but BC Housing says it's looking at next steps.
The City of Port Coquitlam wants this house owned by BC Housing to be demolished.

BC Housing may soon demolish a dilapidated 1950s era home sitting behind construction fencing at 2365 Kelly Ave., in Port Coquitlam.

The housing agency has been roundly criticized by city council — including Mayor Brad West — for failing to take action to knock down the building it purchased in 2021 for a 50-bed supportive housing project for people with mental health concerns.

At its Tuesday (May 2) meeting, Port Coquitlam council agreed to a remedial action order requiring BC Housing to deal with the house that is covered in graffiti; it has also been a home to squatters and a dumping ground since 2016.

"It’s a sad statement we're here having to take this step. It’s not a common step," said West, who called the situation "embarrassing" for the province and the Ministry of Housing.

According to a staff report, the house has been the subject of 13 complaints, most of them prior to BC Housing's ownership, but the property still doesn't meet city standards.

The building, constructed in 1948 and located on one of two properties slated for the BC Housing development, is considered to be a "nuisance" and a "hazard," according to the city that wants it down within 30 days.

Several councillors also expressed concerns about the house that is next to a newer apartment building.

'Without question, it’s dilapidated," said Coun. Nancy McCurrach, adding, "The building rests almost on an apartment next to it and is potentially a fire hazard."

Council was told that BC Housing has been contacted repeatedly, but hasn't presented a plan for demolishing the building.

Adding to the challenges is the fact that while BC Housing announced it had purchased properties at 2365 and 2371 Kelly Ave. at a cost of approximately $6.1 million, no further funding announcements for constructing the apartments have been made.

In October 2022, the society that will operate the supportive housing project penned a letter asking where the money was after hearing nothing for months.

The New View Society, which provides supportive housing and programs for people with mental health concerns, was hoping for a commitment to see the housing built.

Now though, it appears BC Housing might be ready to do some work on the project — at least take responsibility for demolishing the house.

In a statement, the housing agency told the Tri-City News that it was working on "next steps."

"Through new funding under Budget 2023, BC Housing is working on next steps, including demolition of the existing single-dwelling structure — which will address many of the property issues  — and plans for the proposed new development," stated Tim Chamberlin, senior communications advisor with BC Housing in an email.

"BC Housing will be reaching out to the city to discuss the future development of the site, including demolition and site remediation timelines," he added.

Once built, the proposed six-storey, 50-unit building would provide 30 studio suites and 20 two-bedroom apartments.

Residents would have access to a clubhouse program, where people can socialize, participate in recreational activities and learn new skills.

New View currently operates multiple housing units for people with mental health concerns, as well as a clubhouse, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.