Four major affordable housing projects coming to Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Four major affordable housing projects coming to Kelowna

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December 01, 2017 - 1:53 PM

KELOWNA – At least four new projects aimed at helping the less fortunate find somewhere to live are coming to Kelowna, a city with the lowest rental availability rate in the country.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson Selina Robinson says the government is taking “immediate action” to help people struggling with homelessness.

In the last year the rental availability rate in the country’s 22nd largest city dropped from an already low 0.4 per cent to 0.2. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation lists the rate as the lowest in Canada, tied with Abbotsford-Mission. A vacancy rate of four per cent is generally considered healthy. 

"These projects are an important start to addressing the growing issue of homelessness in Kelowna, while we continue to work with our community partners to develop permanent and sustainable housing options,” Robinson says.

To start, roughly 80 new temporary shelter beds have been set up at the former A&B Sound building on Leon Avenue for the winter. They will be operated by the John Howard Society and offer guests three meals a day, storage for belongings and access to health and wellness services.

B.C. Housing has also announced plans to renovate the former Good Night Inn on Highway 97, providing roughly 20 units of longer-term affordable housing. Those beds will be operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association and remain open until another 55-unit supportive housing project on Commerce Avenue is completed.

A construction timeline will be released once a final location has been selected and approved by the City of Kelowna.

Another 52 units of new, modular housing are planned for Kelowna but a location has not yet been selected.

"We are very pleased with the province's reinvigorated investments in housing solutions for Kelowna," Doug Gilchrist the city's divisional director of Community Planning and Strategic Investments says. "These investments will add a variety of housing options to address a spectrum of needs in our community."

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