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.