Construction is starting on 43 affordable rental homes in Keremeos for families, seniors and people with disabilities, through a partnership between the Province and the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society (LSCSS).
“The previous government chose to ignore the housing crisis and they left people behind,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Everyone deserves a safe, secure and affordable home, and this project will deliver urgently needed housing for people in Keremeos.”
The three-storey building at 714 Veterans Ave. will provide a mix of homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
LSCSS will operate the project, which will be named Ambrosia. The name reflects the agricultural traditions of the Similkameen and comes from the Ambrosia apple, which was discovered in a local orchard.
“The Village of Keremeos continues to be a partner in providing affordable housing and we are looking forward to the completion of the Ambrosia project,” said Manfred Bauer, mayor, Village of Keremeos.
The building will include commercial space on the ground floor for LSCSS’s offices and delivery of the society’s community programs. The location is close to the village’s commercial core and services, including a pharmacy, credit union and grocery store.
“LSCSS is excited about this opportunity to provide additional safe, affordable and accessible housing units in our community – homes for families, people with disabilities and for seniors to age in place,” said Sarah Martin, executive director, LSCSS. “The society is also grateful for the support of the Village of Keremeos, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band and of course, for the ongoing efforts of the staff whose vision and determination over the past two years have made this project possible.”
Given the long history of Indigenous peoples in the area, the LSCSS and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band have committed to monitoring all excavations on the project site for evidence of artifacts related to First Nations use and habitation.
Residents are expected to move into the building in October 2021.
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 is providing $4.5 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, as well as interim construction financing of approximately $9.9 million for the project.
- The society provided the land.
- Rents are projected to range from $420 to $1,300 per month:
- eight units are for people with low incomes (such as seniors on fixed incomes): $420 to $660 per month;
- 22 rent-geared-to-income units are for people with low to moderate incomes ($36,000 to $67,500): approximately $655 to $1,047 per month; and
- 13 affordable market units are for people with moderate incomes up to $113,040: approximately $750 to $1,300 per month.
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.