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Feasibility study underway for new rental housing in Kaslo

On October 13, Kaslo Mayor and Council gave the green light to the Kaslo Housing Society to begin studying the feasibility of creating new dedicated rental apartments in downtown Kaslo. The proposed building, which could potentially provide 8-10 studio and larger apartments, would be located on A Avenue near the corner of 4th Street.
 
The 75 x 100-foot lot behind the Kemball Centre is presently under-utilized as a secure bus parking and storage area for Kaslo Infonet. Working with their development partner, New Commons Development under its Small Communities Initiative, the housing society would begin a period of public consultation, and assess the geotechnical and other site constraints. An architect, Christine Ross from Sanca, has been hired to provide high level concept drawings that can be adapted in response to community input.
 
New Commons Development – Small Communities Initiative is already working with several small communities in the region to assist local housing providers in solving the challenges of developing housing. They bring a much-needed level of expertise and experience to the work ahead for Kaslo: securing project financing, beginning with a strong proposal to BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund. The intake for a proposal is due January 15, 2021.
 
The Kaslo Housing Society, the Village and New Commons developed a solid working relationship earlier this year while evaluating the feasibility of acquiring the Kaslo Bay property, which unfortunately is not going forward. But there was a positive takeaway from that effort. We were able to pivot when the Village-owned land behind the Kemball Centre was suggested as a possible site for long-term rental housing.
 
The site has many advantages that the site near the Public Works yard (the “Lovers Site”), which is currently leased by the housing society, does not. In 2018, a proposal in response to a call by BC Housing, very similar to the January 2021 Request for Proposals, had been submitted by the Housing Society. It was explained to the society that the reason that proposal failed was because the Lovers site had no services – no access, no water line, no electrical/phone service, and of course, no sewer.
 
The A Avenue site has all of these services.
 
Please see the advertisement on the side-bar and the following article ‘Penny Lane Apartments?’ – Public Consultation, Site Investigation And Feasibility Assessment for opportunities to learn more about the project. More opportunities to learn and comment will be offered as the feasibility study unfolds. 
 
The housing society also encourages any resident of Kaslo and RDCK Area D who may be looking for a dedicated rental unit in the next few years, to get their names on a waiting list. The list will be confidential; its purpose at this early stage is to give the society a better understanding of current need.