EXAMINING HOUSING Housing needs throughout the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will be examined in a Rural Needs Housing Report. (Submitted photo)

RDOS to examine housing needs

Rural Housing Needs Report will provide comprehensive study of South Okanagan and Similkameen

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has applied for grant funding to complete a study of housing needs in the area.

The Rural Housing Needs Report will examine housing needs, including affordable and rental housing, housing for seniors, families, those with special needs and those at risk of homelessness.

All local governments in British Columbia are required to complete the reports by 2022 and every five years after that time.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is planning to initiate its result in 2020.

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The report will cover the entire regional district, except for Princeton, Oliver and Osoyoos, since those communities are conducting their own housing reviews.

Cory Labrecque, a planner with the regional district, said regional districts have been taking a more collaborative approach with their member municipalities to complete the housing studies.

“No single community could address the full range of affordable housing needs in the region,” he said.

Summerland and Keremeos are both interested in pursuing a regional-level housing report.

Penticton is also interested in the regional report.

Summerland Mayor Toni Boot said the regional report is important since the community cannot meet all its housing needs alone.

“Summerland cannot possibly provide all of the housing we require,” she said.

Labrecque said the report will examine housing in each community and in each area of the regional district in order to present a comprehensive report of housing in the region.

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