By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke’s first community housing project is almost ready for its first tenants, says Community Housing Society Chairman Mark McKee.
“We could have people living here November 1,” he said as he provided The Current with a tour of the duplex on Oscar Street.
Each of the two units has 1,150 square feet of living space and will be rented for $1,100 a month. Each has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a very nice kitchen, dining room and living room.
“This is a clean, safe, energy-efficient and affordable project,” McKee said, adding that it was also “brought in under budget and ahead of schedule.”
As he and Murray Velichko of Frisby Ridge Construction, the company that has been completing the detail work on the duplex, walked through the units, McKee said the society deserves real credit for accomplishing this first step towards the larger goal of ensuring that Revelstoke doesn’t go through the same kind of housing crisis it went through a few years ago.
“People Like Peter Bernacki, Albert Van Goor, Glen O’Reilly and the members of City Council who are on the board, all deserve credit for pulling this off,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy, but they did it.”
Her thanked Okanagan College, BC Hydro, H&J Ready Mix, Jake & Jay Holdings, Nu-trend Construction, Frisby Ridge, City Furniture and the Rotary Club for their roles in helping make the project a success. The college provided the apprentice carpenters who built the structure, BC Hydro put up $250,000 in seed money for the duplex, City Furniture gave the society “a great deal on appliances,” the Rotary Club is paying for the landscaping that will be done on the property next spring and Nu-trend, Frisby Ridge, H&J and Jake & Jay all helped with the construction.
“Now that we have this in place, there’s just the matter of what we do next,” McKee said. “We’re not in the same position we were in a few years ago (when rents and real estate prices soared through the roof ) but we have to be concerned about the future. The question we all have to ask ourselves is this: When we look at the future of Revelstoke do we want to find ourselves in that situation again?”
For McKee and the Housing Society, the answer is simple: “No.”
“That’s why we have to keep moving ahead, planning and finding ways to pay for our housing projects so they’re not a burden on our taxpayers,” McKee said.
There will be a grand opening for this project at noon on Thursday, October 28. If you are interested in applying to become one of the first people to occupy these units please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, here are some photos of the interior of the duplex: