Penticton tackles affordable housing issue

PENTICTON — To help address the need for affordable housing, the provincial government and the City of Penticton have announced a new rental housing project for families and individuals with low to moderate incomes.

Seventy new homes will be built along Brunswick Street and construction will take place over two phases.

“We are making significant progress on a tough issue that will make a world of a difference for 70 families here in Penticton,” says Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

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While the city provides the land, the B.C. government will provide the funding.

“We will be doing the construction financing, which means there’s not going to be any fees attached to it because we don’t charge any. [This] saves a lot of money when it comes to building housing in B.C.,” says Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for Housing.
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The announcement is welcome news for the Penticton and Area Access Society, a group that provides resource and advocacy for people living in poverty.

“Right now the need (for affordable housing) is extensive so I think 70 units is a good number,” says Michelle Turner, the society’s executive director. “As well as low-income housing for families, we also need housing for many other people living on the street. I think that’s missing in this community.”

Exactly who’s eligible to rent one of the units won’t be known until a non-profit housing provider is chosen to run the facility.

Groups are invited to submit a proposal on how it plans to design, construct and operate the rental housing project.

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