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CMHA seeks to build 40 affordable rental units at Salmon Arm property

Council agrees to city providing letter of support for project
Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke is pursuing a 40 unit affordable rental housing project in Salmon Arm at 1141 18th St. NE. (Google photo)

City council is supporting in principle an affordable rental housing project proposed for a Salmon Arm property west of the RCMP detachment.

At its Oct. 23 meeting, council received a letter from Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke executive director Dawn Dunlop, asking for a letter of support for the project at 1141 18th St. NE.

“The letter will strengthen our proposal to obtain Community Housing Funding, from BC Housing,” said Dunlop in the letter.

Dunlop noted how CMHA has in the past worked in partnership with the city to add affordable residential units under the Community Housing Fund program, and that these efforts “have made a tangible difference in the lives of our residents.” Now CMHA seeks to expand on this success, said Dunlop, by constructing approximately 40 additional units of affordable rental housing.”

Dunlop goes on to say CMHA is seeking municipal support to “enhance the viability of the project,” suggesting measures such as reducing development cost charges and waiving the costs for building and development permits “would go a long way in making this project economically sustainable.”

“These incentives would enable CMHA to offer these units to families and individuals at affordable rents, ultimately benefiting our community as a whole,” said Dunlop.

While council supported writing a letter, the proposed financial commitment spurred discussion.

“This letter would just be to move their application forward so that Salmon Arm is at least on the list of those communities that get that housing funding,” commented Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond, noting the city contributed somewhere in the neighbourhood of $75,000 to $100,000 to the Birch Place and Larch Place projects,”and it added several units, so I feel there was value in that.

“But I think for the moment let’s just help them move along on the path of success by writing the letter.”

Coun. Tim Lavery suggested the financial part be referred to the budget process.

“In our conversations with Dawn, she indicated that the letter of support is paramount,” commented city chief administrative officer Erin Jackson. “The actual degree of financial support can be flushed out later, so perhaps it would be appropriate to state in the letter of support that it is being referred to the budget for consideration, but in principle council supports the application.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of the city providing a letter of support.

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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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