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Lake Country to have the most affordable housing units in Okanagan

Habitat for Humanity intends to build a 12-unit multiple family semi-detached townhouse.

A request for development incentives for a Lake Country affordable housing project will be up for discussion during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting.

Recently, Habitat for Humanity purchased a lot at 10618 Powley Crescent where it intends to build a 12-unit multiple family semi-detached townhouse, according to a report which will be presented to council.

When completed, it will be the largest build the organization has undertaken in the Interior, according to Habitat for Humanity.

Related: Providing affordable housing

Lake Country staff has recommended a 50 per cent reduction in building permit fees and to waive all development permit and variance fees.

“Affordable housing is one of the largest challenges facing, if not the majority, all of municipalities in B.C. so we’re always looking for opportunities to aid with that,” said city planner Paul Dupuis.

From the staff and finance department, they didn’t want to see an increase in taxation, so they suggest forgoing revenue for the building.

“Council may choose to do more, but at the staff level we felt like that was a responsible and prudent way to forward it to council.”

Habitat for Humanity has provided 30 affordable housing units in the Okanagan Valley, according to the report.

According to Neil Smith, chief operating officer for the organization, the Lake Country project will have the most number of units of housing provided by Habitat for Humanity across the Okanagan.

If the project runs smoothly, Smith expects the building to start in the spring of 2018 with some units completed by the end of 2018.

The organization has affordable housing units around the Okanagan and most recently, is completing a triplex in Vernon.

The properties will be sold for affordable rates.

“Our homes will come in at a low value, usually in the low 200s to mid 200 range,” he said. “The need for housing is great all though the Okanagan and across Canada… especially when you look at the rental market and you’ve got your young families, they’re caught in the rental cycle and when they’re paying out 70, 80 per cent of their take-home wage just to have a roof over their heads, that’s unfair in any market.”

Applicants will have to meet certain requirements, details can be found online