PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Applications are now open for millions in funding for infrastructure projects in northern B.C.
The Northern Healthy Communities Fund (NHCF) is making $25 million available to 22 local governments and 27 First Nations near the LNG Canada and Coastal Gaslink projects, along with non-profit organizations that provide critical services to those communities.
“We are seeing immense opportunity and job growth in B.C.’s north, which is why we have already invested $150 million in infrastructure for communities and are investing a new $25 million through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund,” said Josie Osborne, minister of municipal affairs, in a press release. “We know that growth can require additional services to meet community needs and, through this new fund, we are working with local governments and First Nations to ensure people have the supports they need, such as child care, social housing, health and mental health support services and help for small business recruitment.”
The fund was established by the province and Northern Development Initiative Trust, which will administer the program on behalf of the province.
The program has two streams for communities or organizations to seek funding through. The first is capacity building where applicants can ask for up to $100,000 to a maximum of 90 per cent of the eligible project budget.
Eligible projects include expanding hours for child care centres and hiring more employees for mental health services and supporting small business recruitment, retention and resiliency.
The other stream is capital. Applicants can receive up to $300,000 to a maximum of 80 per cent of the eligible project budget. The province stated possible qualifying projects include renovating a child care facility or a building that provides mental health services or renovating a multi-unit housing building or upgrades to an Indigenous cultural space.
Funds will be disbursed quarterly through a series of intakes over five years. The initial intake of the NHCF is open until Feb. 26. Applications received after the first intake date ends will be considered for future rounds of funding.