Kelowna’s Healthy Housing Strategy to tackle housing crunch

Strategy proposes 23 recommendations to help ease the current housing crisis in the city

The City of Kelowna could attack the current housing crunch with a wide variety of weapons, including added incentives for the development of rental housing, zoning changes, more partnerships with outside agencies, possible relaxation of parking requirements and a push to find what the city calls the “missing middle,” alternate housing types to the typical single-family home or multi-family condo building.

Council was briefed on development of Kelowna’s Healthy Hosing Strategy Monday, a plan being put together in conjunction with the city’s work to address homelessness though its Journey Home initiative.

Planner James Moore said the strategy contains 23 recommendations in six categories but each will have to be investigated and thoroughly debated by council before being approved. As a result the strategy could take years to be fully implemented.

Members of council were surprised when Moore told them secondary suites are not included in the calculation of the vacancy rate in Kelowna by Canada Mortgage and Housing. That rate is currently sits at an ultra-low 0.2 per cent, one of the lowest in the country.

Coun. Gail Given called the revelation an “aha moment” for council.

Her colleague, Coun. Charlie Hodge, said he was surprised by that, saying council has been approving secondary suite and carriage houses in the belief it would help increase the vacancy rate.

Moore said CMHC estimates there are about 5,000 secondary suites—including carriage houses—in the city.

One of the moves recommended in the Healthy Housing Study is to extend the time a rental building must remain rental to 25 years in order for the developer to get a 10-year tax break from the city. The incentive currently requires the units in a building to remain as rentals for 10 years.

City staff also suggest taking another look at offering incentives at a time when the vacancy rate is low and profitability is high, not the other way around. Mayor Colin Basran said what has been proposed is changing to offer incentives when the vacancy rate is higher in order to get more rental builds at times when developers may not feel the need for it.

As for relaxing parking requirements, council appeared to put the brakes on that, saying it could create problems given parking is always one of the most contentious issues when it comes to development.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan College business program compounds opportunites for finance students

The college has recieved Chartered Financial Analysist credentials for finance students

Kelowna torchbearers announced for Canada Games

The torch will be passed to Kelowna Nov. 30

Kelowna RCMP issue tickets during Hells Angels annual Poker Run

The 90 participants were held up in Glenmore

Kelowna’s Little Owl Academy recieved award of excellence

They are one of the recipients of the Child Care Award of Excellence from the B.C. government.

Triple O’s hosts their nineth annual KidSport Day fundraiser

A ‘Stadium Burger’ has been created for the event

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

New arts council formed in Lake Country

Get to Know Us Extravaganza is Sept. 29

Don’t feed birds in the parking lot

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

Most Read