PHOTO SUBMITTED DISCUSSING HOUSING Kim Lawton of Summerland Alliance Church speaks about the a housing concept being considered by the church. Housing concepts were discussed at a public meeting held last week.

Housing ideas for Summerland discussed

Need for additional housing seen as a complex issue for the community

Several organizations in Summerland are working to address the need for housing in the community.

At a public meeting on housing last week, representatives from Summerland Alliance Church,Summerland United Church and Valley Vista Eco Villages spoke about their efforts to address the need for housing in Summerland.

Both churches are looking to construct housing on their properties, although the two concepts are meant to address different needs. The Valley Vista concept is for a co-housing community.

Around 50 people attended the meeting.

Erick Thompson, president of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has a mandate to create a housing task force, since there is a need for more housing options in Summerland.

“We’re hoping to see an improvement in the housing situation as it reflects to the workforce,” he said.

He added that addressing Summerland’s housing needs is a significant challenge.

“It’s a complex issue that needs all levels of government and the community to participate,” he said.

Mayor Peter Waterman said housing is a significant issue for the community, but already the community has been working to address this need.

“I’m really pleased. We have lots and lots of options,” he said.

He said some of the housing development projects at present include a multi-family development on Elliott Street and a series of houses on small lots on Kelly Avenue, across from Summerland Middle School.

The Kelly Avenue houses also will contain secondary suites.

In addition, the municipality has put out a request for proposals for the Wharton Street property. The deadline for the proposals has now passed and municipal council will now examine the proposals.

The site of the former RCMP detachment has also been identified as a location for housing in Summerland.

Dean Strachan, director of development services for the municipality, said there is not enough housing diversity in the community.

“We need more variety in what’s being built in Summerland,” he said.

He said various unit sizes and styles of housing are necessary.

He added that there is an increase in the number of secondary suites in the community.

Strachan said there is no one solution to address the need for additional housing in the community. Instead, he said multiple housing concepts and developments will be needed.

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