City council puts off affordable housing plans for Bridge Creek properties

The City of Revelstoke is indefinitely putting off plans to develop an affordable housing complex on the Bridge Creek Properties.

The City of Revelstoke is indefinitely putting off plans to develop an affordable housing complex on the Bridge Creek Properties.

At their July 26 meeting, councillors unanimously voted to cancel plans to develop a public-private partnership project at the site.

Last year, the city had solicited private proposals for mixed-use housing on the city-owned site and received three different proposals. However, it looks like that’s as far as the proposals will get.

The Revelstoke Community Housing Society made the recommendation to drop the project. In minutes from their July 11 meeting, they say housing and rental prices have dropped so much that it wouldn’t be good timing to move forward with the project.

“Due to the recent downturn in the local economic situation and the fact that there are a high number of residential units presently available for sale and for rent in Revelstoke, the city does not believe this is a good time to develop additional housing units,” the society wrote in its recommendation that was adopted by council.

Coun. Antoinette Halberstadt, who sits on the housing society board, told the Times Review that the process to get the proposals had taken over a year and the housing market had dropped since then. She noted the city had them on file now in case market conditions changed.

Fellow committee member Coun. Phil Welock also said the process had taken time to run its course and the economy had changed since then.

Revelstoke housing outreach worker Melissa Jameson told the Times Review that despite some drops in rent prices, the city still needs affordable units. “I hope they’re not completely putting it on the back-burner,” she said.

For example, more housing is needed for low-income families. “I think for a lot of people that work … there’s definitely a need for housing that is more affordable,” she said.

Jameson also noted a particular need in Revelstoke for housing for those who are not on disability assistance and who are not more than 55-years-old.

Jameson expressed hope that the city’s upcoming poverty reduction strategy process would include ideas for more affordable housing. In the meantime, she recommended the city keep an open mind and keep their eyes open for opportunities.