Affordable housing proposal for city-owned Armstrong site

Armstrong eyes housing

Armstrong councillors are being asked to reaffirm their commitment to the city's No. 1 goal – the creation of more affordable housing.

In a brief to council by chief administrative officer Kevin Bertles, he notes that council set that as its top objective when the city set a series of strategic goals in 2018. This led to the formation of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Attainable Housing Society 2019.

Following a Regional District of North Okanagan housing needs study earlier this year, staff have identified city-owned property adjacent to the Nor-Val Arena, in an existing residential area, that could be dedicated to affordable housing.

Council would have to consider the sale or lease of the property, and will debate the issue at its next meeting, on Monday.

The proposed site would also require some bureaucratic paperwork changes. The site is currently zoned P1 Park and Open Space, while the official community plan identifies it as Multiple Unit Residential - Medium Density. 

"Council has a finite amount of land and therefore must be strategic in its choices for density to exact the highest yield given the location orientation and physical dimensions of the lots in question. With specific references to the recommendations of the RDNO Housing Needs Strategy, and of course the ultimate deal for the target consumer, will affect the form and character of the potential development," Bertles states in his brief to council.

The city has seen proposals from two parties to provide affordable housing lots in Armstrong, those being the Armstrong Spallumcheen Attainable Housing Society, and Anhart Community Housing.

Council must still determine the terms under which it would consider transferring the land to an intended affordable housing provider.

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