An initiative proposed by the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre would provide low-cost housing for the community.
At the municipal council meeting on Monday evening, John Bubb, president of the centre, presented the Cottage Community concept, a plan to address Summerland’s low-cost housing problem and to provide supplementary income for any of the centre’s clients who would want and benefit from it.
Bubb said at present five per cent of Summerland residents are in need. “The need in our community is increasing,” he added.
While there are some low-cost accommodations available, Bubb said the Cottage Community project would not have the restrictions based on age, disability or welfare status.
As a result, the units could be used by young people starting out, couples saving for a home of their own or as temporary accommodations for those pursuing other options.
The rent would be around $500 a month.
The biggest obstacle is in finding land for the development.
Bubb said the property should be provided free of charge and near the downtown core.
If the project receives council support and if land is available, the first units might be available within 12 months after the project begins.
Members of council are interested in the concept.
“I think this is a really innovative approach to what is clearly a community problem,” said Coun. Doug Holmes.
“I think this is a very worthwhile project,” Coun. Erin Carlson added.
The presentation from the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre has been received by council for information.
At a future council meeting, municipal staff will provide a report about the proposed concept.