Aging seniors’ housing complex redeveloped and expanded in Kelowna

The opening of the new Pleasantvale took place Wednesday with B.C.'s premier, Kelowna's mayor and the local MP on hand.

The re-developed Pleasantvale seniors and affordable housing development at Central Avenue and Cambridge Avenue in Kelowna is now open.

The provincial government says a number of families and seniors in Kelowna now have a new, safe place to call home with the opening of the redeveloped Pleasantvale housing complex in the north end of the city.

Pleasantvale, which was officially re-opened Wednesday with Premier Christy Clark on hand, features 50 affordable housing units for seniors and 20 affordable townhomes for families with low to moderate incomes, thus providing more people in the community with what was described as quality, affordable housing.

“For over 60 years, Pleasantvale has been a home for seniors, and now it will be that and more,” said Clark, who represents part of the city as the MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “By providing affordable homes and a real community for seniors and families alike, Pleasantvale will change people’s lives.”

The local Society of Hope, a non-profit housing society, lead the development and will run the new Pleasantvale.

Located on the 600-block of Richter Street, the original Pleasantvale was the site of a 50-unit aging building for seniors,  a development built in the mid-1950s.  In 2013, its was selected for redevelopment.

After an extensive public consultation process led by B.C. Housing, Kelowna city council approved rezoning of the site, which resulted in the replacement of the original 50 units and the addition of the 20 new affordable-rental homes for families.

A three-government and non-profit group partnership, the project included funding of $5.6 million from Ottawa and Victoria towards the total cost, approximately $12.4 million in construction financing arranged by the province and land, originally donated by the Pleasantvale Homes Society and the City of Kelowna, valued at $2 million. The city also credited $154,070 in development cost charges to the project and granted another $273,171.

“The redevelopment of Pleasantvale is a strong addition to our community and improves the housing options for both seniors and families,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “Together with the federal and provincial governments, Pleasantvale Homes Society and Society of Hope we have achieved 70 new affordable rental units where aging housing once stood.”

The rent for the one-bedroom units for seniors is $667 per month, while the family townhomes rent for between $990 for a two-bedroom and $1,100 per month for a three-bedroom unit.

Seniors also have a place to gather and connect with one another at an outdoor garden area and an amenity space that includes a kitchen.

“This investment is already making a real difference in our community and the lives of those who call Pleasantvale home,” said Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr on behalf of federal families, children and social development minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Duclos is also the federal and minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, another partner in the development.

“Affordable housing projects such as this one are about helping families and seniors who need it most, investing in our future, and supporting the Canadian economy,” added Fuhr.

Catherine Comben, chair woman of the Pleasantvale Homes Society  board said the layout of the buildings and the addition of 20 townhomes has maximized the potential for the site, which was exactly what her board wanted to see happen.

“We were so pleased to see our former residents have the opportunity to move into such bright, spacious and safe new homes in exactly their same north end surroundings.”