Affordable housing project may lose special status

Developer seeking to have special covenant removed that holds price at 10 per cent below market value

Realtor Julius Bloomfield picture in 2012 outside the Naramata Court development

Realtor Julius Bloomfield picture in 2012 outside the Naramata Court development

An experiment intended to add to the area’s stock of affordable housing appears to be coming to an end.

The developer of the 18-unit Naramata Court townhouse complex has asked the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to waive a special covenant that holds the price of homes there at 10 per cent below market value.

Wildstone Holdings agreed to the covenant in 2010 in exchange for the RDOS rezoning the site to multi-family residential.

“I think it’s important to note that it was essentially a pilot project that the previous (RDOS) director felt very strongly (about) and Wildstone came to the plate to make that happen for the community,” Naramata Director Karla Kozakevich told the RDOS board last week.

“We’ve learned a heck of a lot about what to do and not to do with a covenant for any future projects like this.”

She explained part of the problem with the plan lies in prices being based partly on past sales, “So as you keep doing this, the value goes down and down, because it looks at the previous one that was 10 per cent below market value.”

The covenant on the townhomes was originally designed to last for seven years, but was amended at the developer’s request in 2012 to drop off after the first transfer of ownership in a bid to boost sales. Just three homes had been sold at the time.

Kozakevich said only four units remain unsold now, and the developers intend to buy them from their own company, Wildstone, in order to pay off the construction loan, then keep them as rental homes.

The covenant also requires that sales be arm’s-length, so the developers are currently unable to buy the units from themselves.

The plan to drop the covenant will be sent to a public hearing at an as-yet determined date, before going back to the RDOS board for final approval.

An official from Interior Health has already spoken out against the idea.

Environmental health officer John Beaupre told the RDOS his organization does not support the move since access to affordable housing reduces stress on people and frees up money for healthy living.

“Interior Health shares a vision with many of its business partners in the field of community planning of affordable, accessible, and good quality housing for all that is free of hazards and enables people to engage in activities of daily living while optimizing their health,” Beaupre wrote in response to a routine request for comment.

One of the units in Naramata Court that’s still listed for sale is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with an asking price of $319,000.


Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read