New partnership will create 157 new rental homes in Kelowna – KelownaNow

They’re part of the province’s HousingHub initiative, which is a partnership between the Province of B.C. and PC Urban.

The initiative brings together and partners with all levels of government, landowners and a range of for- and not-for-profit groups to increase housing options for British Columbians.

"New rental homes are desperately needed for a range of people in need, including those in middle-income households," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

"We are starting to see the results of the hard work of the HousingHub team as its expertise helps to build new homes like the ones that are getting underway in Kelowna."

Construction of the two six-storey buildings will begin in June and are expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

They’re located at 726 Clement Ave., steps away from Sandhill Winery, multiple breweries and Kelowna’s downtown core.

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"We are really excited to be working with the Province through its HousingHub and with the City of Kelowna in this innovative partnership," said Brent Sawchyn, CEO, PC Urban Properties.

"Through this multi-use project, we will deliver a mix of one- and two-bedroom homes, providing much-needed affordable rental apartments for Kelowna's middle-income earners."

Pricing will be guided by the standard of affordable housing where people spend no more than 30% of their income.

However, the projected rental prices are $1,300 per month for a one-bedroom unit and $1,780 per month for a two-bedroom unit.

The province's Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister came under fire over a decision by BC Housing to keep the Leon Avenue Cornerstone shelter open indefinitely.

Local media grilled the minister during a rental housing announcement in Kelowna Friday over the decision, which has been panned by the Downtown Kelowna Association, Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses.

Selina Robinson reaffirmed the decision put forth by he province and the City of Kelowna a week ago to keep the shelter open, despite objections from area businesses.

She didn't add much to the original press release which stated Cornerstone would remain open indefinitely until a new location can be found, or until people are housed.

"It's what happens when you neglect housing for as long as it's been neglected," she said.

"We are working as quickly and as diligently as we can to make sure we have the kind of housing and the kind of supports people need for the long term."

While the facility has a capacity for 80 people, Dawn Himer, executive director of the John Howard Society which runs the shelter, recently told Castanet as clients are relocated to other housing, their beds are not being filled.

"I am very confident those people will be first in line to be assessed and to make a determination about moving them into the kind of housing I think we all want."

"Keeping Cornerstone open is a lot better than telling 65 people to be out on the streets and having no place for them to go," said Basran.

"While I appreciate the chamber is upset with the decision, it would be a lot worse for the downtown business owners and the chamber members if we were to just close it and put a lot more people out onto the streets."