12:16 PM

Hundreds of affordable homes coming for Interior, northern B.C.

OKANAGAN FALLS - More than 580 new affordable homes are on the way for renters living in interior and northern B.C., through partnerships between the Province and local non-profit housing providers.

"Through our Homes for People action plan, we're accelerating housing supply across the province to meet the diverse needs of people," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Whether you live in a big city or a remote coastal village, access to affordable and suitable housing is important in forming strong communities. That is why we are working in partnership to ensure homes are built for people in the communities they call home."

A total of 15 new projects in the Interior and northern B.C. have been selected through the third intake of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund (CHF). These proposed projects will provide a total of 584 affordable rental homes for individuals, families, seniors, people living with disabilities and Indigenous people in B.C.

The announcement took place at South Skaha Place, 5081 8th Ave. in Okanagan Falls, which is a housing project operated by the South Skaha Housing Society. The site previously received provincial funding in 2018 and provides 26 affordable homes for seniors in the community. As one of the successful proponents of the 2023 CHF call for proposals, the society will receive CHF funding to build additional housing on site.

"I am pleased to express my gratitude for the opportunity that BC Housing has bestowed upon the small town of Okanagan Falls," said Michael Livingstone, board chair, South Skaha Housing Society. "The addition of a 36-unit housing complex is a welcome development, particularly in light of the pressing need for housing in our community."

Including these projects, the Province, through BC Housing, has identified more than 40 new projects to move forward, totalling approximately 3,500 affordable rental homes. Projects have also recently been announced in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. More projects for the Interior region will be announced later. This brings the total to 12,500 affordable rental homes already open or underway through the CHF program since its launch in 2018.

"Okanagan Falls is a growing community and the addition of more housing will support the influx of new residents to our area," said Roderick Rose, a tenant in South Skaha Place. "The society, in my opinion, is on the right track by building new and modern places to live. Thanks to the society and its vision, this can only be a plus to the area."

The Community Housing Fund is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has approximately 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 7,500 homes in the Interior and northern regions.

A community breakdown of the new projects is included in the backgrounder.


Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen -

"Rural communities across the nation are feeling the pressure from this housing crisis, and so 580 more affordable homes in B.C. will be a huge positive for so many people and so many communities. This life-changing action for British Columbians wouldn't be possible without the dedicated support and community leadership of the partners in these communities, so I'm grateful for what they do for so many. The homes help make sure our communities can live up to their full potential, unlocking more doors for workers, seniors, young families and more."

Mark Pendergraft, board chair, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen -

"Creating more affordable housing options is a growing social and economic issue throughout the regional district and this project is an important step in the right direction."

Jill Atkey, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association -

"The rental housing crisis touches every corner of British Columbia, and we're thrilled to see non-profits in the Interior and northern regions will soon be constructing hundreds of new affordable rental homes. These homes are critical for British Columbians experiencing affordability challenges today, but importantly, they will also be home to thousands more in the generations to come. But our work is not done, and we will continue to push every government to increase investment into safe, secure and affordable housing."

Quick Facts:

  • The CHF is a $3.3-billion investment that targets to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate- and low-income households by 2031-32.
  • BC Housing is supporting non-profit housing providers to prepare for future CHF funding calls, with the next call expected in late 2024 or early 2025.
  • Under the CHF program, residents of 70% of the units pay rent geared to income, where rent is generally based on 30% of household income.
    • This includes 20% of units for residents with very low incomes, such as those receiving income or disability assistance.
  • The remaining 30% of units are available at or below market rents for households with moderate incomes.

Learn More:

To learn more about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

A backgrounder follows.