Kelowna, West Kelowna on new provincial housing target list

Okanagan on housing list

The Ministry of Housing has unveiled its second list of B.C. "priority communities" identified to receive housing targets.

Kelowna and West Kelowna are among the 20 communities on the list.

The exact targets each community will be required to meet over a five-year period will be announced in the summer.

The first list of 10 communities was unveiled a year ago.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said the communities were selected because they are in high-growth, high-need regions.

"We are addressing the housing crisis with our municipal partners so thousands more affordable homes can be built for people who need them," Kahlon said.

"Our goal for the next 20 communities is to build on the work they are already doing while they continue to implement the recent provincial legislative changes.

"This includes communities that are doing well on housing and some that need to do more."

Kelowna has been one of the leaders in creating housing over the past half decade.

"The minister realizes Kelowna is a leader in the province with regard to the innovative processes we go through and the housing we have developed and moved forward," said Dyas.

"The part of it that is beneficial to us as a community is there is certain funding that is going to be available around infrastructure grants and infrastructure funding.

"For us looking at advancing and applying for those additional grants and additional funding so we can advance infrastructure needs across the community, we consider that a positive."

The city's own housing needs assessment indicates a need for about 2,000 to 3,000 new units per year to keep up with expected growth.

Dyas said last year alone the city advanced more than 4,000 units with an ability internally for more.

However, Dyas cautioned that while council can get projects to the building permit stage, outside forces such as interest rates, increased material and labour costs, and supply chain issues are outside its control and need to be addressed.

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