By David F. Rooney
It has been a long time coming but the 12-unit Oscar Street affordable housing project was finally officially opened on Monday, April 18.
Eleven of the project’s 12 rental units at 1014 Oscar Street are filled and the last available unit gets its first tennant on May 1.
The project cost over $2 million to build with:
- $794,000 coming from the Canada-BC Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing;
- $696,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust;
- $192,000 cash form the City as well as $57,000 in municipal fee reductions and land worth $376,000; and
- $205,000 from the Community Housing Society.
Two BC Liberal MLAs attended the opening, Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo and Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. Kyllo was deeply impressed by the breadth and depth of local community support for the project, as evidenced by money put forward by the City and society.
“It makes it a lot easier for (senior levels of ) government to support (a project like this) when there’s this kind of local community support,” he said at the opening ceremony.
For her part, Tegart said the BC Liberal government was “pleased to see that tenants have moved in and are benefitting from the affordable rents and making these townhouses their new homes.”
Getting to the point where a multi-unit affordable rental project has actually been built took years. As Mayor Mark McKee recalled, the opening of Revelstoke Mountain Resort in 2007 forced people to raise the price of rent for houses and apartments, prompting protests and then the public discussion that led to the Community Housing Society’s creation. After building a duplex, it set out to find the money it needed to embark on this project in early 2014. The project was held up by a number of factors including political opposition and some bureaucratic roadblocks. The last municipal election results swept that aside and it is now complete.
Please activate the YouTube player below to watch the ceremony and commentary by Alan Mason, MLAs Tegart, and Kyllo, Mayor McKee, CBT Director Loni Parker, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation representative Lance Jakubec and Community Futures Development Corporation Manager Kevin Dorrius.