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UPDATE: 2 much anticipated housing projects face delays in Penticton

Affordable housing on Main and development beside OK College have setbacks
M’akola Housing Society, through funding from BC Housing, will build a five storey affordable housing building at 603 Main Street. This project to go in the 500 block of Main Street is delayed. (Rendering)

Editor’s Note: BC Housing has responded to say there is no funding gap for the M’Akola Housing Society housing project in Penticton as originally reported in this article. The housing project on Main Street is going through the design phase with BC Housing before funding is finalized.

Two different but both highly anticipated housing developments are currently facing delays in Penticton.

The M’akola Housing Society received council’s go-ahead — after a split vote — to go forward with the five-storey development in the 500 block of Main Street.

However, after getting council’s blessing in September 2022, no visible progress has been made. BC Housing says the project is moving through the standard changes and tweaks in the design. It shouldn’t be too much longer before the funding is finalized, said BC Housing.

M’akola Housing Society will operate and maintain the housing project once it is completed.

READ MORE: Five-storey affordable housing coming to downtown Penticton

The housing as it was pitched to city council will provide 28 affordable housing units, with a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units for families and seniors, as well as for individuals.

Of the units 20 per cent will accommodate ‘deep affordability’ for individuals who can only pay shelter rates; 50 per cent of units will see rent tied to income with 30 per cent of income going to rent. The remaining 30 per cent of the units will be low-end market rent.

The other project is the housing development on Timmins Street behind the Canadian Tire and close to Okanagan College.

On March 7, Dr. Neil Fassina, the president of Okanagan College, told council that the college was still working with the property owner as part of their previous negotiations to prioritize some of the units for student housing.

The original design, approved by council in 2021, would have seen 219 new units of housing added between two apartment buildings and 71 units of three-bedroom townhouses in a mix of rentals and strata units.

At March 9’s council open house, Blake Laven, the city’s director of development services, confirmed that the project had changed developers.

Whether the project will continue as originally pitched is unclear.

Fassina also told council that the college is currently in discussions with NavCanada and the federal government over the now decommissioned NavCan tower adjacent to the campus, which could potentially lead to further housing.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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