Rental rates in Kelowna are skyrocketing and have been for a number of years.
According to a recent CMHC report, in 2015, the average one-bedroom was roughly $900.
Fast-forward to February 2021, and market analysis shows that the same unit would go for $1,450 — a huge 61 per cent increase.
The very same analysis report says Kelowna has the sixth highest rent average for major cities in Canada.
The increase has forced many renters to spend upwards of 30 to 50 per cent of their income on housing.
“I came from the restaurant business, I had to close my business in Vancouver. For me, $1,450 is not affordable,” said Danielle Cecarelli, a Kelowna resident.
“It’s a scam, it really is,” said Eric Nelson, a Kelowna resident.
“That’s too much money coming out of your paycheque for rent.”
Kelowna city staff will be presenting a rental housing grant recommendation to council at its next meeting, with a plan to encourage the development of a 102 unit affordable housing project.
The city planner specialist is proposing a rental housing grant of $300,000 for 2175 Benvoulin Road, a Society of Hope project.
It would house seniors and others on fixed and low incomes.
Twenty per cent of the units would be deeply subsidized, according to the society.
City staff say the grant is intended to offset the cost of building affordable rental housing and would be applied against the development cost charges for the project which are estimated to be nearly $3 million for this project.