Affordable housing concerns raised

The City of Penticton has a lot less money in its affordable housing reserve than people might expect.

The City of Penticton has a lot less money in its affordable housing reserve than people might expect.

During a recent public hearing, a local developer stated he had paid $400,000 into the fund, but that turns out not to be the case.

Colin Fisher, the city’s chief financial officer, says he isn’t sure where Tony Vant Geloof of Starline Enterprises got his figures from for the actual amount contributed to the city for their Athens Towers project.

“The total amount was approximately $270,000, of which half went into the reserve for affordable housing in accordance with the policy and bylaw of the day,” said Fisher. “That amount plus one other minor contribution plus investment income makes up the $160K amount of the reserve.”

Developers pay the money to the city as a densification bonus, when their projects exceed a level of units that would put a higher strain on the city’s infrastructure in a small area. Those funds are split in two, with half going to the affordable housing fund, and half to the Amenity Contribution Capital Reserve Fund.

That’s the fund the city drew on when they agreed to loan the PenMar Community Arts Society $125,000 to support their project to rehabilitate and repurpose the PenMar Theatre.

Lynn Kelsey, who works with the South Okanagan Women in Need Society, raised concerns about affordable housing during the public hearing for Starline’s project. She’s disappointed to find the reserve only has $160,000 in it.

Kelsey said she would like to see the full contribution going to the affordable housing reserve, and see it expanded so more developers are contributing.

“It’s an absolutely huge issue. It’s not just affordable, it is affordable and safe housing,” said Kelsey, adding that rents in Penticton are very high, which often forces people into a roommate situation that may not be safe, or they go into substandard housing where they are dealing with rodents and pests, poor insulation and other defects, meaning higher utility costs.

“Or you will find a single mom moving into a motel with her kids,” said Kelsey. “The bottom line is if you don’t have safe housing, you can’t put the rest of your life together well. That’s the base upon which you build anything else.”

Starline will also be paying a bonus to the city for their new project at 3388 Skaha Lake Rd., but Fisher said he doesn’t yet have an estimate of how much it will be, if and when the project proceeds.

 

Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read