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Affordable housing development takes next step

The vision of an affordable housing project in the city is getting clearer.

The development is led by the Powell River Inclusion Housing Society.

It will feature 42 units for people with low incomes, including single-parent families and people with disabilities.

There will be one, two, and three-bedroom units. Four units will be wheelchair accessible.

The complex, designed for people and families with a household income of $38,000 or less, is proposed for the 4800 block of Ontario Avenue.

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Society CEO Lilla Tipton said if all goes well, the community will have another affordable housing option by 2022.

“They should be able to start building by next spring,” she said. “So it will be about two years before it’s available to people but it’s really needed.”

The project has passed first and second readings with the City of Powell River for rezoning, and a public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

In 2018, the B.C. government invested $7 billion to help build 114,000 affordable homes by 2028.

In less than two years, more than 21,000 new homes are already completed, under construction or in the approvals process across the province.

This includes the 40 supportive homes that are under construction in Powell River.
In the meantime, a staff report to the council included recommendations to incorporate new road construction along undeveloped portions of Ontario Avenue and Abbotsford Street.

Staff will receive formal direction from council members regarding this recommendation should the bylaw amendments receive further readings after the public hearing.

Affordable housing defined

‘Affordable Housing Unit’ is defined as a housing unit which would have a market price that would be affordable to households of low and moderate incomes.

Households of low and moderate incomes are those which have incomes that are 80 percent or less than the median household income in the City of Powell River as reported by Statistics Canada.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s definition of affordable housing provides that no more than 30 percent of a person’s or family’s household income is required to manage housing costs.

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