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B.C. and Burnaby unveil 125 new affordable housing units at Metrotown

Residence named after longtime councillor Paul McDonell.

The Paul McDonell Residence has opened its doors with affordable apartment space in Burnaby this week.

Located at 6551 Sussex Ave., the Paul McDonell Residence provides 125 units of affordable rental housing and features 22 bachelor apartments, 50 one-bedroom apartments, 42 two-bedroom apartments; and 11 three-bedroom apartments. The 14-storey apartment building includes 25 units that are accessible and adaptable for people living with disabilities.

The project received $17million in provincial funding, said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. Burnaby contributed $7 million. 

“Welcome to our new residential building, the Paul McDonnell Residence. This project began back in 2016, and it's great to finally allow people to move into this place.” said Linda Flegal, president of the board at New Vista Society.

The building was developed in partnership with BC Housing and the City of Burnaby to provide housing to people with a low to moderate income. The new apartments are part of a larger redevelopment that includes 324 units of market housing being developed by Thind Properties Ltd. Through the rezoning process for market development, Thind Properties transferred a subdivided lot to the City of Burnaby to satisfy the project requirement for 125 affordable rental housing units. New Vista Society is a partner in the project.

Half the units in the building will be at 90% of CMHC market rate and the other half will be at 70% of market rate. So it's designed for people with moderate incomes, Darin Froese, CEO of New Vista society, said.

Those who were at the event spoke about Paul McDonell’s legacy and his impact in the community of Burnaby. McDonell died suddenly in July 2020 after having served four terms on Burnaby council and decades of volunteer work in the city.

“Paul was a champion for the residents. As a former firefighter, Paul committed his life to public service. It’s also great to finally be in a finished building for housing,” said Mayor Mike Hurley.