• Friday , 27 January 2023

Seniors housing

Re: New council has cost concerns with seniors housing project

I was quite perplexed to read about city council’s concerns over the proposed Peachland Seniors’ Support Society housing development on 6th. In particular, the comment from realtor and Councillor David Collins who asked, “Does it make sense to partner with BC Housing to provide more senior housing versus what the private sector might offer in terms of building 75 units and what that would look like stipulated as a rental building?”
To be clear, the difference between a project like this and what would be offered by the private sector is affordability. Under the Community Housing Fund program, 50 per cent of the 75 units in this building would be subsidized by the province to keep rent at 30 per cent of a person’s gross monthly income.

A certain portion of the units (15) would be specifically subsidized to the level that would make them affordable to individuals with very low incomes (under $21,946), such as those on a basic seniors’ pension. The remainder of units are at market rate, providing rental supply to middle income earners.

There is no chance that a market rental building would provide secured, subsidized units affordable to individuals in this income bracket, or this range of rental options in one unit.

It’s worth noting that the Regional District’s Housing Needs Assessment indicates there has been a significant increase in people seeking non-market housing in the area since 2012, as rents and housing prices escalate. This project is the exact way to address that issue.

Let’s hope council seeks to understand the project and the bigger picture before making short sighted decisions that seem to only take into dollars (via community amenity contributions) over the housing needs of citizens in the district.

Earl McLeod, Peachland

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