People working four jobs just to make ends meet to have a roof over their head.
It is not an uncommon situation that Tanya Berhardien, OneSky executive director, hears, but one she hopes will start to be alleviated when a new five-storey building with 56 affordable housing units at 285 Nanaimo Ave. W. is completed. On Tuesday, the first step towards that was taken as community partners gathered for a ground breaking ceremony.
“The families that we are speaking with often are also working two, three and I was talking to a staff member the other day and in one case, four jobs,” said Berhardien. “They are trying to make ends meet. Pay for child care, juggling their need to pay utility bills with their need to put food on the table. So for some people this project will help relieve that kind of stress they are facing and it will also help enhance the city stock of affordable rental housing.”
The units, which are anticipated to be available for rent in Spring 2019, will serve people of all ages — including singles, couples and families. They will range from $675 (studio apartment) to $1,275 (three bedroom) per month and be available to those whose incomes range from $27,000 to $51,000.
“This is just an incredible location that is going to provide the opportunity to live in the downtown core. Close to the amenities and a short walk to the beaches and everything great about downtown Penticton, which is so many things,” said Berhardien.
The project is a collaboration between OneSky Community Resources, Catalyst Community Developments, B.C. Housing and the City of Penticton.
“We know people that have struggled with paying their rent. Making the choice between paying their rent or buying their kids food, or buying their kids a birthday present. This building, under your leadership will give those people chance to have a secure family together and to provide those children with a good living environment,” said Ann Howard, regional director of B.C. Housing, interior division, to the crowd of collaborators and city council members at the ceremony on Tuesday.
Those interested in living in one of these homes can add their names to a list by contacting Catalyst Community Developments Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-320-9321.