The Revelstoke Community Housing Society is going after a piece of $10 million in funding made available by the Columbia Basin Trust and BC Housing.
The Affordable Rental Housing Initiative is being made available for five projects across the Columbia River Basin, and would see CBT contribute half the amount and BC Housing the rest.
“We’re looking for as much as we can get,” said Glen O’Reilly, a member of the society’s Board of Directors.
The proposal that goes forward is still being worked on. The housing society, working with the city’s planning department, has created a plan for a block of seven houses on Oscar Street, adjacent to the society’s existing rental duplex.
That proposal calls for seven homes ranging in size from 878 to 1,900 square feet to be built along the north side of Oscar Street.
The homes would be pre-fabricated buildings designed by Winton Global, a Prince George-based company. “It has a really good streetscape, it’s attractive,” said O’Reilly. “It’s individual homes so people have pride in ownership.”
He did note there was some disappointment in the size of several of the homes put forward by the planning department.
That plan is what the society was working on when the funding was announced, but it may not be what goes forward to the CBT in its proposal, said O’Reilly.
“Whether those seven homes are what we’re going to put forward in the package for the funding depends on what’s more attractive to them,” he said, adding that based on the request for proposal, a 10-unit apartment building could be a preferred option.
“We have to look at our options on what’s going to work best to get the funding,” he said. “The one thing to keep in mind, from where I’m sitting, we actually have something in place. Where I’m not sure if any other communities have any proposals ready to go.”
According to a report by Jill Zacharias, the city’s social development co-ordinator, both housing and rental prices have increased substantially in the last five years.
Citing statistics released in the October 2011 Rental Market Survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the average assessed value of single-family home has doubled since 2006, while its selling price has gone up by a third.
Rents have gone by even more, with increases since 2006 range from 52 per cent ($617 from $364) for a one bedroom apartment, to more than 80 per cent for a three bedroom home ($1,000 from $592).
The report was presented to the housing society at its annual general meeting earlier this month.