KELOWNA - Close to 160 new rental homes will soon be available to middle-income families in Kelowna, thanks to a new partnership between the Province and a developer.
The new homes are part of the Province's HousingHub initiative, which proactively brings together and partners with all levels of government, landowners and a range of for- and not- for-profit groups to increase rental and homeownership options for people.
"New rental homes are desperately needed for a range of people in need, including those in middle-income households," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We are starting to see the results of the hard work of the HousingHub team as its expertise helps to build new homes like the ones that are getting underway in Kelowna."
The HousingHub has partnered with PC Urban to build 157 market rental homes designed for households with annual incomes ranging between approximately $52,000 and $71,000.
Located at 726 Clement Ave., construction of the two six-storey buildings is expected to start in early June 2019 and expected to be complete by late 2020.
"We are really excited to be working with the Province through its HousingHub and with the City of Kelowna in this innovative partnership," said Brent Sawchyn, CEO, PC Urban Properties. "We have a shared responsibility to deliver a diversity of housing forms for the full spectrum of income earners. Through this multi-use project, we will deliver a mix of one- and two-bedroom homes, providing much-needed affordable rental apartments for Kelowna's middle-income earners."
The project will add rental supply to a community that is facing an extremely low vacancy rate of 1.9%. Guided by the standard of affordable housing where people spend no more than 30% of their income, rents for the homes are designed to be affordable for people in this middle- income range.
"A key focus area for us is to create vibrant neighbourhoods, and we do that through thoughtful, comprehensive urban planning," said Colin Basran, mayor, City of Kelowna. "We expect that, due to affordability challenges and the decreasing size of households over the next 20 years, a significant share of new units will be multi-family developments like this one. We appreciate efforts to move the needle on a vacancy rate that has been below 1% for several years."
This project is part of more than 20,000 new homes completed or underway throughout B.C as a result of provincial investments, including more than 2,400 homes for middle-income households.
The HousingHub is a division within BC Housing established in 2018 as part of B.C.'s 10-year housing plan to seek innovative partnerships with local governments, non-profit and co- operative housing organizations, community land trusts, Indigenous groups, faith-based groups, charities, financial institutions and other industries to create affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians. It acts as a centre for housing expertise and collaboration and helps create housing either through new construction or through the redevelopment of existing sites.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province, through the HousingHub, is providing interim construction financing of approximately $39 million for the project in Kelowna.
- The approximate projected rents are:
- one bedroom: $1,300/month
- two bedroom: $1,780/month
- The Province is also working in partnership to increase the supply of affordable rental housing in Kelowna through the Building BC funds. Including this project, more than 420 homes are completed or underway
- Community Housing Fund: 73 affordable rental homes for individuals, families and seniors.
- Indigenous Housing Fund: 59 affordable rental homes for Indigenous peoples (Kelowna and Westbank).
- Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 40 units of second-stage and permanent affordable housing.
- Supportive Housing Fund: approximately 50 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness.
- Rapid Response to Homelessness program: 46 supportive homes completed and 51 homes in development.
- HousingHub: 157 rental homes.
A map showing the location of all announced projects is now available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
Read Homes for B.C., government's 10-year housing plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
PC Urban Properties
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership to build affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians.
Budget 2018 included a $7 billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 20,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live - from people experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. This includes:
Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) - approximately 2,460 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
- HousingHub: 960 rental homes.
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) - approximately 9,200 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,100 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,150 homes for Indigenous peoples, on and off reserve.
- Regional Housing First Program: more than 600 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) - approximately 2,800 homes:
- Rapid Response for Homelessness: more than 2,000 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: more than 550 homes with 24/7 support.
- Regional Housing First Program: more than 170 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.
Housing for women and children leaving violence - approximately 340 homes:
- Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 340 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
Housing for students - approximately 5,600 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
- Close to 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Total: approximately 20,400 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing