Revelstoke businesses supportive of seasonal employee housing

For Revelstoke businesses, a lack of rental housing has created problems when it comes to recruitment and retention of employees.

The affordable housing complex on Oscar Street opened earlier this year. More new housing is being considered.

For Revelstoke businesses, a lack of rental housing has created problems when it comes to recruitment and retention of employees.

So, it is perhaps not surprising that approximately 30 business owners, managers and other staff attended a meeting on employee housing hosted by Community Futures last Wednesday.

Community Futures general manager Kevin Dorrius called the meeting a fact-finding mission, noting that nothing has been decided in terms of the type or location of housing that may be built.

Dorrius said he was surprised at how many business owners came out for the meeting.

“It certainly reinforces that this is a real issue here, and we need to take some steps to deal with this,” he said. “It’s (housing) going to get into a bigger crunch as time goes on. We have had businesses come and talk to us about how they have either bought or are looking at buying real estate because they’re having such an issue.”

Dorrius also noted it is becoming more difficult to afford to live in Revelstoke, and that some sectors of the local economy struggle to pay a wage which allows employees to pay rent.

“So that’s what we’re looking at, trying to find some affordability,” he said.

The intention of building the units is that businesses would use them to house staff. There would be rules in place about buying and selling units. Businesses would purchase units, and would be able to use them for seasonal staff.

While nothing has been decided yet, Dorrius said he envisioned dormitory style housing for employees.

Community economic development director Alan Mason, who was also present at the meeting, noted dormitory style housing is seen in other resort communities.

“It’s quite common for resort communities to build dormitory type housing for seasonal staff that come and go,” he said.

Peter Nielsen, vice president of operations with Revelstoke Mountain Resort, agreed that dormitory style housing seems to be a good option for the community as a whole.

“By addressing that entry level segment, you are going to free up other styles of accommodation,” he said.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns expressed by those present at the meeting was how to deal with tenancy issues.

Dorrius said they would likely be looking at a co-op or strata-type ownership, and that because it would be such a large housing unit, a building manager would likely be necessary.

Norm Langois, general manager of The Coast Hillcrest Hotel, said he felt a strata-type building would help to prevent issues with tenants. He also suggested rules about tenancy in the employee housing could become a condition of employment.

“It becomes a staff housing that you’re renting to them, so it becomes a condition of employment,” said Langois.

With an obvious interest from local businesses, next steps will include more planning and gathering information about the number of employees local businesses may need to house.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

The site plan for the Stoked Living development on Hay Rd. (Stoked Living)
Rental housing agreement approved for Hay Rd. project

Stoked Living development guarantees 10 rental units for 12 years

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services. (File)
UPDATE: RCMP say fire at Rivers Edge suspicious

Second fire in less than a week in Revelstoke contained to one unit

Remembrance Day in Revelstoke, Nov. 11, 2019. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke Remembrance Day celebrations different during pandemic

The Legion is asking you to stay home as a limit of 100 people are allowed at the ceremony

A municipal election is likely coming up in January. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
City takes steps to host byelection by end of January

A ministerial order is required to temporarily change the Election Bylaw

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

In May 2019, Brennan Joel Metlewsky and Jordan Robert Kupser were charged with attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an incident that took place in Vernon in 2017. (Facebook photo)
Attempted murder charges dropped for pair accused in Vernon stabbing

Brennan Metlewsky and Jordan Kupser will appear in Supreme Court to set a new trial date

Eric Termuende and the Emily Dahl Foundation are presenting a virtual ‘fireside conversation’ on modern happiness from the stage of the Powerhouse Theatre in Vernon Nov. 3, 2020, at 7 p.m. (YouTube)
Mental health advocate joins happiness chat in North Okanagan

Versed public speaker teams up with Emily Dahl Foundation to equip virtual guests with tools to live a happier life

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A boat moored at Turtle Bay Marina was reported stolen Oct. 1 and remains under investigation. (Contributed)
North Okanagan crimes remain unsolved

Boat stolen from marina, theft of siding and vehicle break and enter

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Most Read