The Oscar Street townhouses, an example of affordable housing in Revelstoke, opened in early 2016. (File Photo)

The Oscar Street townhouses, an example of affordable housing in Revelstoke, opened in early 2016. (File Photo)

Province purchases two properties in Revelstoke for affordable housing

The two aging complexes will undergo remediation and renovations

The province has acquired two Revelstoke residential properties to help address the city’s shortfall of affordable housing.

The province has purchased two aging multi-unit complexes which will undergo remediation and renovation efforts to improve the quality of the under-used buildings, with 38 specific units currently unrentable due to their poor condition.

READ MORE: A strong need for all forms of housing in Revelstoke, except single-family detached

“People in Revelstoke, like many other communities, have struggled for too long to find an affordable place to live,” said BC Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson.

“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, purchased for $7.1 million.
  • Rivers Edge, located at 1211 Front St.— a 44-unit, three-storey apartment building, purchased for $5 million.

These land acquisitions come after the province purchased the Revelstoke Board of Education’s Mount Begbie property on Downie Street, where new housing will be constructed.

Though these properties assessments had them valued 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 conducting a renovation assessment on both buildings, with those 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 Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz.

“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.


 

@RevelstokeRevue
editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

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