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.

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

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Cops for Kids riders will be spinning 30 feet in the air on scissor lifts at SaveOn Foods locations in Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna Saturday, May 8, 2021. (File photo)
Cops reach new heights for Okanagan kids

Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting Saturday in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Summerland, Rutland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Rutland and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Most Read