More families and seniors in Keremeos will have an affordable place to call home thanks to a partnership between the Province and the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.
“People shouldn’t be forced to leave the communities they call home to find the affordable housing they need,” said Premier John Horgan. “That is why we are working hard to build affordable homes in Keremeos and other small, hardworking communities throughout British Columbia.”
The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society is receiving $4.1 million from the Province’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund to build 41 much-needed new homes for people with low to moderate incomes. Projected monthly rental rates will range between $375 and $1,440.
“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are addressing gaps in the market, creating the types of homes that people can afford – from growing families to seniors on fixed incomes,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “And our progress to date has been made possible because of the commitment of partners like Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.”
Located at 715 7th St., the proposed project will be designed to include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including several accessible homes. The three-storey building will also have commercial space on the ground floor for the society’s community service programs and offices.
“The Village of Keremeos very much appreciates the investment the Province is making to provide for more affordable housing in Keremeos,” said Manfred Bauer, mayor, Village of Keremeos. “Council will continue to support this collaborative approach and is looking forward to future projects.”
The society recently purchased land for the project, which will go through a rezoning process. A public information session will be held as part of that process in July 2019. Construction is expected to start in spring 2020.
“On behalf of the communities of Keremeos, Cawston, Hedley and Olalla, Lower Similkameen Community Services Society is honoured to partner with the Province and the Village of Keremeos to develop more affordable housing in our community under the Community Housing Fund,” said Sarah Martin, executive director, Lower Similkameen Community Services Society. “The social, health and economic benefits of affordable housing for individuals, families and communities are well known. Through our work providing a diversity of programs and services within the community, we are acutely aware of the need for more affordable housing units, across the demographics. We are grateful for this opportunity to provide more safe, affordable and adaptive homes for our community members.”
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 5,000 homes in mixed-income buildings for people with a range of low, moderate and middle incomes through the Community Housing Fund.
The Province is tackling the housing crisis in British Columbia by increasing supply, curbing demand and cracking down on fraud in real estate.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- This housing development is part of the first series of projects selected to receive funding through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for people with low and middle incomes.
- Projects built under the Community Housing Fund will reflect the following mix of incomes:
- 30% of the units will be for middle-income households (with annual incomes up to approximately $107,000).
- 50% of the units will be for a range of low- to moderate-income households (incomes below the housing income limits, which range from $21,000 to $96,000. Housing income limits represent the income needed to pay the average market rent in a specific community).
- 20% of the units will be for households with low incomes (up to $30,000).
- The Community Housing Fund was launched in Budget 2018 as part of the Province’s 30-point housing plan.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. 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
A backgrounder follows.