B.C. Premier John Horgan (at right) with LSIB Chief Keith Crow (middle) and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robertson (right) at an announcement in Keremeos about affordable housing on June 24. (Robin Grant - Review Staff)

Premier releases details on Similkameen affordable housing project

The proposed project in Keremeos will be designed to include one-, two- and three-bedroom units

More families and seniors in Keremeos will have an affordable place to call home thanks to a partnership between the province and the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.

“People shouldn’t be forced to leave the communities they call home to find the affordable housing they need,” said Premier John Horgan. “That is why we are working hard to build affordable homes in Keremeos and other small, hardworking communities throughout B.C.”

The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society is receiving $4.1 million from the province’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund to build 41 much-needed new homes for people with low to moderate incomes. Projected monthly rental rates will range between $375 and $1,440.

READ MORE: Horgan to make announcement in Keremeos

“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are addressing gaps in the market, creating the types of homes that people can afford, from growing families to seniors on fixed incomes,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “And our progress to date has been made possible because of the commitment of partners like Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.”

Located at 715 7th St., the proposed project will be designed to include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including several accessible homes. The three-storey building will also have commercial space on the ground floor for the society’s community service programs and offices.

READ MORE: Keremeos gets green light for more affordable housing

“The Village of Keremeos very much appreciates the investment the province is making to provide for more affordable housing in Keremeos,” said Manfred Bauer, Keremeos mayor. “Council will continue to support this collaborative approach and is looking forward to future projects.”

The society recently purchased land for the project, which will go through a rezoning process. A public information session will be held as part of that process in July 2019. Construction is expected to start in spring 2020.

Sarah Martin, executive director of the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society said there are 80 seniors on the waiting list for an affordable home.

“I’d love to see more creative options around cooperative housing and affordable home ownership,” she said. “It’s up to the community to work together to find some of these options. Cooperative housing is great … When there is market demand, people will come up with creative solutions. But we would definitely be interested in providing more housing.”

She added that on behalf of the communities of Keremeos, Cawston, Hedley and Olalla, Lower Similkameen Community Services Society that they are honoured to partner with the province and the Village of Keremeos to develop more affordable housing in our community under the Community Housing Fund

“The social, health and economic benefits of affordable housing for individuals, families and communities are well-known. Through our work providing a diversity of programs and services within the community, we are acutely aware of the need for more affordable housing units, across the demographics. We are grateful for this opportunity to provide more safe, affordable and adaptive homes for our community members,” said Martin.

This project is part of more than 20,000 new homes completed or underway throughout B.C. as a result of provincial investments, including more than 5,000 homes in mixed-income buildings for people with a range of low, moderate and middle incomes through the Community Housing Fund.

To report a typo, email: editor@keremeosreview.com.


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