New affordable rental homes open in Kelowna


September 19, 2020

KELOWNA - Eighty new affordable homes are now available for middle-income families and individuals with the opening of a new rental apartment building in Kelowna.

"Years of inaction on the housing crisis by the previous government meant people had been left behind, even people with middle incomes, like teachers, nurses and small business owners, who have struggled to find an affordable place to call home," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Through partnerships, we are building safe, secure homes in Kelowna and elsewhere in the Province, so people can find affordable housing in their community, close to loved ones, work and the services they count on."

Located at 726 Clement Ave., the six-storey building provides one- and two-bedroom rental homes for households with annual incomes ranging between approximately $52,000 and $71,000. Residents started moving in on Sept. 1, 2020.

The project was built in partnership with PC Urban Properties through BC Housing's HousingHub program, which was created in 2018. It works with community, government, non- profit and private-sector partners to help create new affordable rental housing and home- ownership options for middle-income British Columbians.

"This has been a really unique and successful partnership with the Province and with the City of Kelowna to build safe, high-quality, attainable housing for middle-income earners," said Brent Sawchyn, CEO, PC Urban Properties. "We are proud to have delivered this multi-use project ahead of schedule and we are excited to welcome people in. Leasing the apartments has exceeded expectations, which is testament to the need for this type of housing in Kelowna. "

The development includes a second six-storey building, which will provide 77 rental homes for people with middle incomes. Construction is expected to be complete by December 2020.

"Providing a variety of options across the housing spectrum is essential to meeting the needs of all Kelowna residents," said Colin Basran, mayor, City of Kelowna. "As more of the population relies on rental housing, purpose-built rental housing in Kelowna will only become more important so residents have access to attainable and affordable housing."

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:

  • The Province, through the HousingHub, provided interim construction financing of approximately $39.5 million for the 157-unit project in Kelowna.
  • The monthly rents for apartments are:
    • one bedroom: $1,300/month
    • two bedroom: $1,780/month
  • Including these homes, the Province is working in partnership to build nearly 1,300 new affordable homes for people with a range of incomes in Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Learn More:

HousingHub: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/housinghub

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
778 584-1255

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org

BACKGROUNDER

Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector 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 23,000 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 who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for people with middle incomes

The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:

  • HousingHub: 2,802 homes

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes

This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:

Affordable market:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes

Social housing or subsidized rents:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off- reserve

Housing for people with very low incomes

Rental housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes

Housing for students – 5,584 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
  • 2,885 student housing units are also completed, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions

Total: 23,018 homes

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org