BC Housing turning old motels into hundreds of affordable homes in Penticton
Over the next few years three old motels and an apartment building in Penticton are destined to be replaced with hundreds of new homes in multi-storey apartment blocks.
Called the Skaha Assembly Redevelopment project, BC Housing is still consulting with existing residents. It hopes to break ground on the first phase of construction in 2025.
“This development will provide housing for low to moderate- and middle-income singles, families, seniors and persons living with disabilities,” BC Housing said in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “There will be a mix of affordable rent-geared-to-income units (i.e., where rent is set at 30% of gross monthly income), as well as market rentals."
BC Housing bought the 46-unit Skaha Sunrise Apartments in 2009 then added the 27-unit Mayfair Motel, 21-unit Sun Valley Motel and nine-unit Meadow Lake Motel in 2021 for $7.9 million. They are all near the intersection of Skaha Lake Road and Green Avenue West.
The agency paid $7 million for the land, which was $400,000 below the appraised value, the email says. The other $900,000 was for property transfer taxes, safety improvements, legal fees and closing costs.
In all, there are more than 100 homes for low income people in the buildings, all of which are about 60 years old and in poor condition, BC Housing says. That means the current residents will have to move, when the time comes.
“Existing tenants will get first choice of a new home that meets their needs and they will continue at their same rental arrangement,” the email says. “Existing low-income units will be replaced one-for-one.
“Any tenants who are required to vacate their units so that redevelopment can begin will be provided with rehousing support. Where possible, we will plan construction in phases so that as many people as possible can move directly from their current home to their new one.”
Two options are being considered for the new buildings.
One would have 581 units in five buildings, including 116 (20%) that are wheelchair accessible. The other would provide less green space but 612 units in four buildings with 122 being accessible.
Public information sessions were held last week and continue through to May 31, with a focus group from 3 to 5 p.m. and a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. in the lounge at the Penticton Seniors Centre at 2965 South Main Street. You can register here.
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