The site of a former school in Clarenville is getting made over into affordable housing, thanks to a local church group and an infusion of government cash.

It's a project the New Life Community Church said is desperately needed in a town where it's become very expensive to live.

Keith Chard, lead pastor with the non-denominational church. said it responded to a call from Newfoundland and Labrador Housing for non profit groups to build supportive or affordable housing.

"We stood up to the challenge, so we put in an application," said Chard, and the church received a grant of $1.25 million, enough to build 10 units on the site of an old primary school in the centre of town.

He said the Eastern School District has agreed to transfer the land to the town, which will then transfer it to the church.

"I guess one of the biggest issues in the Clarenville area is the cost of land, so the town really helped us out," said Chard, who called the site "a perfect location."

clarenville housing

The New Life Community Church says many big new homes are going up in Clarenville, but it wants to build 10 two-bedroom apartments. (CBC)

Chard says part of his church's mandate is to help the community, and he says affordable housing is in short supply.

"I would say we're in a crisis situation in Clarenville," he said.

"Clarenville with the upswing in their economy the past number of years, it's become very,very expensive to live there. I've heard stories about people moving out of Clarenville because like I said, it's just too expensive."

The church said it hopes to break ground on the housing project by spring, and will continue to be involved once tenants move in. 

"New Life Community Church will be responsible for all maintenance. We're responsible as well to provide supportive roles in terms of how we can help the people who are living in these units," said Chard.