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Penticton aiming for more affordable housing support from government

The city is looking to get more support from the province and federal brances
The BC Housing project fronting Skaha Lake Road is ready to take residents in June. The recovery based model may be the first of its kind in B.C. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

The City of Penticton is looking to take on the housing crunch with two new proposals.

The first is a motion brought forward by the city to the Southern Interior Local Government Association, and the second is a request from city staff for council’s support of a $40,000 application for a federal housing program.

The SILGA proposal was to see a new model established, where the government would provide “funding equal or greater in value to any donated land a local government contributes for the purpose of attainable and affordable housing projects.”

“We know the demand for attainable and affordable housing is growing and that we need to be proactive and collaborative in finding solutions,” said Mayor Julius Bloomfield, who spoke to the motion. “We need to break down the silos that prevent projects from proceeding and build partnerships with senior levels of government. I’m glad our SILGA colleagues feel the same way and look forward to debating the motion at UBCM.”

The motion will now go to the Union of B.C. Municipalities AGM in the fall for debate.

At council’s meeting on May 2, city staff will present a request for $40,000 to be put towards an application and action plan for the CMHC National Housing Strategy’s Housing Accelerator Fund. The $4 billion fund was announced as part of the 2022 budget, launching this summer and running until 2026/27.

It is intended to support initiatives that remove barriers to housing supply, accelerate the growth of supply and support the development of complete, low-carbon and climate-resilient communities which are affordable, inclusive, equitable and diverse, according to the staff report.

The $40,000 would come out of the city’s Online Accommodator Platform Reserve, which as of Dec. 31, 2022, stood at a balance of $102,000, and will go to hiring a consultant to complete the complex grant application.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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