More people in Revelstoke will soon have access to much-needed rental housing, with the B.C. government’s new HousingHub facilitating the purchase of two rental properties in the community.
The two aging complexes will undergo remediation and renovations to improve the quality of the under-used buildings and 38 units that are currently unrentable due to their poor condition will be reopened.
“People in Revelstoke, like many other communities, have struggled for too long to find an affordable place to live,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By purchasing these properties, we are making sure that middle-income individuals and families continue to have access to rental homes they can afford.”
Last year a housing needs assessment completed by the City of Revelstoke found that 208 subsidized housing units and 216 rental units were needed in the city.
The Province is investing approximately $12 million to purchase the properties, which have a total of 117 rental units for middle-income individuals and families:
- Columbia Gardens, located at 1949 LaForme Blvd. – a 73-unit apartment and townhouse rental complex, which was purchased for $7.1 million.
- Rivers Edge, located at 1211 Front St. – a 44-unit three-storey apartment building, which was purchased for $5 million
These purchases come after the province purchased the Revelstoke Board of Education’s Mount Begbie property on Downie St. where new housing will be constructed.
Though these properties assessments had them valed as less than purchase price, Melanie Kilpatrick, media relations for the ministry, said the assessment doesn’t factor in properties as income-generating assets.
“The actual market assessment for these two sites was significantly higher than the purchase prices,” she said in an email. River’s Edge was listed on the market at $5.85 million and Columbia Gardens was listed at $9.5 million.
BC Housing is assessing both buildings for needed upgrades, with renovations expected to begin as early as this summer.
“The City of Revelstoke is very excited that BC Housing came to the table and purchased these two rental buildings,” said Gary Sulz, mayor. “We are grateful that they will provide the opportunity for more residents to obtain rental housing.”
Tenants living at both sites will not be required to move and their rents will not be affected.
Revelstoke Property Services will manage both buildings in the near term. BC Housing will work with local non-profit housing providers and the surrounding community to develop a partnership and long-term management plan for these two sites.
The HousingHub is a division within BC Housing established in 2018 as part of B.C.’s 10-year housing plan to increase affordable rental housing and home ownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
It acts as a centre for housing expertise and collaboration, and helps create housing either through new construction or through redeveloping existing sites.