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Kamloops  

City director says housing build targets set the bar 13 per cent higher than previous years

Housing targets 'reasonable'

A City of Kamloops director says housing targets set by the province for the Tournament Capital are reasonable — and they didn’t come as a surprise to anyone at city hall.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Housing released the target numbers for the first 10 municipalities selected as part of the province’s plan to spur residential construction. Kamloops, the only Interior city on the list, will need to complete 4,236 housing units within five years.

Marvin Kwiatkowski, the city’s development, engineering and sustainability director, said staff have been engaging with the province for a couple of months about the housing targets.

“They are about 13 per cent higher than what we’ve done in the last five years,” Kwiatkowski said.

“We calculated all our building permits, units, and those targets are 13 per cent higher. So that's pretty reasonable. But there’s lots of factors in trying to meet those.”

He noted the municipality has control over things like zoning and application process, but the city itself doesn’t build houses or decide which type of housing is constructed.

He said the market is a huge factor, along with interest rates and the cost of building.

The ministry of housing has recommended that 2,227 units — about 53 per cent of the total target number — must be rentals. Of all rental units, 1,320 should be set aside for below-market rates, while 907 can be market rates.

The province said 2,642 homes should be studio or one bedroom units, while there should be 739 two bedroom homes and 854 units which include three or more bedrooms.

Kwiatkowski noted achieving the number of affordable rental units could pose a challenge, adding there needs to be incentives put in place for developers to construct these types of units.

"Typically, BC Housing is involved in that, and when a project happens, they get different rates financially to put in below market rents,” he said.



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