Seniors in Okanagan Falls have more affordable home options


October 3, 2019

OKANAGAN FALLS – Twenty-six new homes are now available for seniors to live independently, affordably and connected to their community in Okanagan Falls.

“Independent, healthy and connected seniors are a key part of vibrant and resilient communities,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Seniors in our province should be able to stay in the communities they helped build, and these homes will provide these seniors in Okanagan Falls with the peace of mind that comes from living in an affordable home close to their friends and family.”

Located at 5081 8th Ave., South Skaha Place is a three-storey apartment building for seniors living independently. The building has 24 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units. South Skaha Place is in the heart of the village centre within walking distance of shopping centres, parks, medical services and transit.

“The regional district is proud to support this important housing project by waiving development cost charges and providing a grant-in-aid to be applied to development and building permit fees,” said Karla Kozakevich, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS).

The Province provided $5.9 million in funding for the project, as well as construction financing. The RDOS waived development cost charges and provided a property tax exemption for the next 10 years.

The South Skaha Housing Society will operate the building for renters age 55 and over. Rents range between $750 to $975 per month.

“We are very excited and proud to be celebrating the grand opening of South Skaha Place,” said Sharon Davis, director of public relations, South Skaha Housing Society. “It has been a long road since 2005, and our main goal is to keep building and supporting the community’s housing needs. Our great team will continue to rise to the housing challenges in this mighty little town by continuing our efforts in developing partnerships for new projects for seniors and other adults in the area.”

Residents started moving in this week.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.'s housing market and helping build 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
  • In addition to these 26 homes, the Province is working in partnership to build more than 1,600 new affordable homes in the Okanagan, including:
    • Community Housing Fund: 239 affordable rental homes for individuals, families and seniors.
    • Indigenous Housing Fund: 59 units of social housing for Indigenous peoples.
    • Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 52 units of affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
    • Student Housing: 220 student housing beds at UBC Okanagan.
  • Units are still available and resident applications are being accepted for South Skaha Place. Interested parties can contact Lock Property Management at 250-492-0346 or email at info@lockprop.com for an application. Applications are also available at the Visitor Centre and Library in Okanagan Falls.

Learn More:

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-2433

Laura Mathews
BC Housing
604 439-8571

BACKGROUNDER

Facts about affordable housing

The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.

Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live — from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) - approximately 4,120 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
  • HousingHub: approximately 2,620 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 9,320 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 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) - more than 3,060 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: nearly 800 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.

Housing for women and children leaving violence - approximately 360 homes:

  • Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 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.
  • Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

Total: approximately 22,460 homes

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-2433

Laura Mathews
BC Housing
604 439-8571