A Penticton apartment has been granted approval from city hall to add four new low-income units of housing to an apartment building without requiring extra parking space to add to the stock of sub-market rentals.
The owner of the building, which takes up two city parcels at 257 Scott Avenue, took over the property five years ago, and according to city staff has been renovating the building ever since.
“In the past five years, according to the owner, there have not been any vacancies and there’s always a strong demand for the units, here,” city planning manager Blake Laven told council Tuesday evening. “The owner has also taken a more hands-on management approach, leading to a much more well-managed building than in the past.”
The building currently has 52 parking spaces for 48 rental units, with the intent of adding four more studio units to the main floor, to make 52 parking spaces for 52 units.
“The owner has identified the potential to install four additional suites by reconfiguring the underutilized parking area,” Laven said.
“Through discussions with the brain injury society, the owner has agreed to enter into a partnership, whereby four units in the building will be designated for that program.”
Laven called the plan a relatively cheap way to add to the city’s sub-market rental stock, which has been an issue for the city, which is attempting to mitigate a housing crisis.
Though the city gained dozens of units with the creation of Fairhaven at the former Bel-Air Motel, a project several interested parties have noted has been a challenge without combining support services alongside the housing, little else has come online in terms of low-income housing.
The former Super 8 motel opened up some space over the winter for the emergency shelter, with the remainder of property, now dubbed Compass Court, set to open up low-income housing with B.C. Housing, alongside services from Interior Health and others later this year.
The proposal comes in a partnership with the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society, with executive director Linda Sankey speaking briefly to council Tuesday evening.
“He’s already selected one of our client members to receive first placement into the building with this agreement that’s in place,” Sankey said.
SOSBIS operates other low-income housing projects, including the Columbus Park project on South Main Street.