Parkdale board examines affordable housing

Development proposed for Wharton Street location in Summerland.

Parkdale Place Housing Society’s board of directors are working with the B.C. Housing Corporation to create an affordable housing development in Summerland.

Christine Gray, administrator of Parkdale Place, said affordable housing does not necessarily mean subsidized housing. Instead, she said housing is needed for all demographics in the community.

She said the Parkdale board is looking to work with other stakeholders in the community in order to develop affordable housing units.

“We have better opportunities if other stakeholders can come together,” she said.

Gray said there is a need for affordable housing in Summerland.

“How can we have people working here if they can’t find housing?” she asked, adding that the housing costs in Summerland are among the highest in the province.

Many of the local employment opportunities, in hospitality and tourism, are not high paying, she said. As a result, workers have a difficult time finding housing they can afford.

She would also like to see young families move into the community.

At present, she said there are close to 500 vacancies in public schools in Summerland. If more families were to locate to the community, some of these classroom spaces would be filled.

“We would strongly benefit from the vibrancy of young families,” she said.

The Parkdale board is looking at a Wharton Street site, close to the downtown core.

This site has been considered for multi-family housing twice in recent years.

Gray said a Parkdale development would be three to four storeys high. Details, including the size of the development and the number of units, have not yet been determined.

The Wharton Street property is owned by the municipality and is expected to go to a request for proposals.

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