It’s good news for those looking for a seniors housing complex for the North Island.

Gordon Patterson says the preliminary development work has officially started. Patterson is chairman of the North Island Seniors Housing Foundation. The plan is to build the complex in Port Hardy on Trustee Road.

The foundation had asked BC Housing for funding for the early stages of the project so that it could hire a development consultant and an architect. Together they could come up with a comprehensive concept that included a feasibility analysis, schematic drawings and capital budgets.

That funding was approved on Wednesday, as was additional funding for geotechnical studies of lands made available for the project by the District of Port Hardy. Patterson says this approval will now allow the foundation to look for more commitment from other partners, such as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Island Health.

The estimated cost for the new, multicultural seniors housing complex is $11.5 million.