A dozen townhouse-style units for low-income families also sit on the Shepherd of the Valley site. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

A dozen townhouse-style units for low-income families also sit on the Shepherd of the Valley site. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Langley church ready to welcome tenants to seniors housing project

The construction of Emmaus Place was finished ahead of schedule

An affordable housing project on church land in Langley Township has finished construction ahead of schedule, and will soon welcome families and seniors.

“It really is a dream come true,” said Pastor Kristen Steele.

Emmaus Place is located on land that was owned – until the Oct. 15 handover – by the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church on 72nd Avenue, just east of 200th Street.

But last year, construction began on a dream the congregation has nurtured for almost four decades, of building housing to support local seniors.

As of this week, the land will officially become the property of the SVLC Langley Housing Society – an non-profit created by the church – and Catalyst Community Development, one of the partners in the project.

The church has stood in the 20000 block of 72nd Avenue since the 1980s, dating back to the days when Willoughby was a largely rural patchwork of acreages and small hobby farms, and land was relatively cheap.

The church and its parking lot took up only a fraction of the lot, leaving plenty of space for other projects, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that partnerships with non-profits like Catalyst and BC Housing provided the opportunity to move forward.

Now a small village of buildings has arisen on the church land, with 70 apartment units for seniors and 12 townhouses for families.

Quadra Homes donated $400,000 to the project, and the Township’s new policy to waive development cost charges for affordable housing construction was used for the first time on Emmaus Place.

The province provided $8.7 million and construction financing for the project, with the church providing land.

Rents are expected to start at $650 to $900 per month for the studio apartments, and range from $850 to $1,200 per month for one-bedroom units.

Based on the principle that rent shouldn’t cost more than 30 per cent of income, the units will mostly go to people or families making between $28,000 to $58,000 a year.

Steve Trummler, a church member who has been working on the project for five years, noted that early discussions talked about a mix of families and seniors, so the project would be multi-generational.

There’s also a playground on the site, and Trummler said he hopes it will be used by the children who live there, as well as by their friends from the surrounding area.

There are also garden boxes for the use of the local seniors and families.

The start for the move-in is expected to be January 1, 2021.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a damper on any plans for big gatherings in the near future, Steele said the church also wants to reach out to their soon-to-arrive neighbours. They already have a number of community programs, and they will look at creating more specifically to serve the new residents, if there are needs they can meet.

“It really is about creating community,” she said.

The project is named Emmaus Place after the story from the Gospel of Luke, in which Jesus, after his resurrection, appeared to two disciples, but they did not recognize him until Jesus broke bread with them, after which “their eyes were opened.”

affordable housingLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Emmaus Place complex features housing, a playground, and garden boxes for residents. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

The Emmaus Place complex features housing, a playground, and garden boxes for residents. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Pastor Kristen Steele and Steve Trummler of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in front of the new four-storey seniors housing building that sits on church land, and will welcome residents Jan. 1, 2021. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Pastor Kristen Steele and Steve Trummler of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in front of the new four-storey seniors housing building that sits on church land, and will welcome residents Jan. 1, 2021. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Fraser Health has added two more Langley schools to its list of COVID-19 exposures. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Two more Langley schools added to COVID-19 exposure list

Families of Langley Secondary and Dorothy Peacock Elementary were notified, district says

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Horgan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
COVID case confirmed at Fort Langley Seniors Community

One of five new cases reported by Fraser health Authority

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Abbotsford South Green Party candidate Aird Flavelle. (Aird Flavelle/Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Aird Flavelle only Abbotsford South candidate to answer climate change questions

TWU Environment Club and Climate Crisis Langley Action Partners hosted zoom meeting last week

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Most Read