The B.C. government has fallen short on pledges to build more affordable housing in Kamloops, says New Democrat Nancy Bepple.
In Kamloops, aside from seniors’ housing, there has been no new-build affordable housing in Kamloops since 2009, when Georgian Court was built, Bepple said Thursday.
A four-storey wood-frame apartment building, Georgian Court provides 48 self-contained one-bedroom apartments on Fortune Drive for about $375/month.
Yet individual bedrooms are being advertised for $600 to $800 per month, making even an individual room unattainable for someone on social assistance or disability assistance, said Bepple, who is seeking the NDP nomination in Kamloops-South in the run-up to a spring provincial election.
Families are equally strapped to find housing, she said.
“The provincial government has ignored the housing needs of people in Kamloops with low incomes, especially the working poor, people with disabilities and people on social assistance,” she said.
“Even when there was a chance for new construction, such as the townhouses on Columbia Street recently built by John Howard, the province dropped the ball when unexpected infrastructure requirements increased build costs. Now, those units, which could have been affordable are being rented at market rates.”
Four years ago, the Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan identified a need for 2,222 more affordable units for individuals and families.