Increase Affordable Housing
"Kelowna continues to grow as more and more people discover our community and fall in love with the beautiful valley we all cherish, and who can blame them?"
Along with that growing interest comes an ever-increasing population and a serious need for affordable housing. If you are already established in the housing market this may not be a problem, but if you have yet to buy your first home or are transitioning from a less formidable market, you are most likely deterred by the high cost of housing in Kelowna.
Sure, Kelowna is building upward with high-rise condos - complete with amenities and spectacular views - but we need to consider who is buying these homes. The majority are established, semi-retired persons from larger cities like Edmonton and Vancouver. Although the influx of money from these people is welcomed and needed, that doesn't address the average working family struggling to build a future and provide for their children.
Today the average cost of a home in Kelowna is around $1,000,000. Even with the prices dropping, as they often do in the Fall season, this is far out of reach for the working class, which is so vital for any community. With Lake Country immediately north of us, a mountain range to the east, a protected park to the south, and a rather large lake to the west, there really is no room for lateral spread or 'sprawl'. Kelowna Council needs to come up with innovative ways to in-fill the city strategically. By looking at re-zoning affected areas and allowing more affordable housing such as townhouses, condos/apartments, secondary suites, and carriage houses, we can help our next generation get a foothold for their future.
I understand that this is not a simple cookie-cutter process. Kelowna City Planners need to look at the supporting infrastructures that make our community function, like Schools, Parks, Shopping, Transit, and Fire-Fighting, to name a few.