The Penny Lane Project Charter is the document that describes the KHS board’s approach and aspirations for the Penny Lane Apartments. The Executive Summary is a document subject to regular updates, which describes in more detail the process and steps involved in furthering and achieving the objectives laid out in the Project Charter. 

Project Charter
Penny Lane Apartments, Kaslo BC


Kaslo Housing Society (KHS or the Society) has partnered with New Commons Developments’ Small Communities Initiative (NCD or New Commons) to construct a small apartment building (the Penny Lane Apartments) located within walking distance of services and amenities in downtown Kaslo, BC. The 7500 sq ft site is adjacent to the historic Kemball Building on A Avenue and is legally described as Parcel J (being a consolidation of lots 30, 31 and 32, see ca9165077) Block 8, District Lot 208, Kootenay District, Plan 393.

Parcel J is currently municipally owned. A Purchase and Sale Agreement between the Village of Kaslo and the Kaslo Housing Society is being finalized.

Municipal planning processes, with KHS as the proponent, are required to permit the development of the property include Rezoning (RZ, general or site specific), OCP Amendment, Development Permit (DP), and Building Permit (BP) approvals.


The Kaslo Housing Society was established in 1998. Its mission is to make affordable housing accessible to residents of Kaslo and Area D, including but not limited to retired persons, young families and individuals in transition, service workers, and persons with fixed incomes.

The Small Communities Initiative (SCI) at NCD brings development expertise, capital, and aligned interest to the project. New Commons shares the risk of development by investing staff time and expertise and potentially, at-risk capital into the project. Post construction, NCD will support sustainable asset management and future project delivery by building local financial and development capacity. A Development Services Agreement between the two parties is the contract that describes their respective roles and responsibilities and the fee structure.


  1. New Commons will prepare comprehensive financial and business plans related to the project.

  2. New Commons will establish a financial strategy and support Kaslo Housing Society in securing the necessary funding and financing for the project.

  3. New Commons will prepare and maintain the project schedule.

  4. With input from KHS and VoK, New Commons will assemble and manage an experienced consultant team to secure the required municipal approvals and all required permits for redevelopment.

  5. With input from KHS and VoK, New Commons will assemble and manage the team to oversee the construction of the project.


The development partners are Kaslo Housing Society and New Commons Developments’ Small Communities Initiative, with the Village of Kaslo in a supporting role. BC Housing Management Commission and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) are major funders. Funding and support is also expected from the Columbia Basin Trust, municipal and regional government bodies, individuals and the Society’s fundraising events.


Interested and affected parties include potential tenants, the neighbours and businesses adjacent to the Penny Lane Apartments, Kaslo’s service industry employers, Interior Health Authority, North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society and anyone who calls Kaslo and RDCK Area D home.


1. Housing goals:

  1. Relieve poverty by building and managing affordable rental housing for low and moderate – income residents of Kaslo and Area D.

  2. Create a diverse unit mix from studio to 3-bedroom units that addresses a range of housing needs for target household types including single individual households (including seniors), couples living without children (including seniors), and families (singles or dual parent households).

  3. Create security and reliability for tenants by adhering to the Residential Tenancy Act of BC.

2. Development phase:

  1. Create a project that respects its heritage zoning and the character of the immediate neighbourhood.

  2. Create an energy-efficient, water wise, practical and well-designed building that is low-cost to operate and maintain. This potentially includes rainwater harvesting for outdoor uses, use of water and energy efficient fixtures, electric vehicle charging facilities, Net Zero Energy “ready” or Passive House consideration, solar panel installing or solar readiness.

  3. Ensure qualified local contractors, tradespeople and consultants have an opportunity to work on the project.

  4. When possible, seek or be supportive of options that broaden inclusivity.

  5. Ensure productive and ongoing relationships with local suppliers.

  6. Create a project that achieves Fire Smart certification.

  7. Create a project that will instill pride within our community.

3. Inclusivity and livability:

  1. Two of the units will be accessible to persons with mobility challenges.

  2. Consideration will be given to designing common spaces inside the building that will have basic power and light so that residents can stay reasonably comfortable in the event of a prolonged power failure.

  3. Support the ability of residents to get around locally without owning a car by providing parking spaces for bicycles and mobility scooters.

  4. Support the desire of residents to grow their own food or ornamental plants by encouraging input into landscaping and permitting container gardens on balconies. As there won’t be much land available for garden plots, other options for off-site gardening (e.g., Kaslo Community Garden) will have to be considered.

  5. Support residents’ initiatives to improve long term sustainability.

  6. Help to fundraise for improvements that are desired by the tenants such as outdoor conversation areas or public art.

3. Operations Phase:

  1. Build capacity within the community to manage a multi-residential facility with professionalism, efficiency, and appropriate and cost effective short and long-term planning.

  2. Build capacity within the Kaslo Housing Society and its staff to create and implement effective and compassionate resident policies.

  3. Work with other societies in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency.


Constraints and Dependencies:

  1. Reliance on several federal, provincial and Crown funding programs to create the desired affordability in the development.

  2. Development options are currently constrained by existing zoning.

  3. The site has constraints which shall be identified in the title including a Right of Way to FortisBC for a high capacity line, and a geothermal well and conduit serving the adjacent Kemball Memorial Centre building.

  4. Besides the easements identified above, the property title will also hold covenants to ensure that Penny Lane Apartments continue to provide affordable, secure and safe rental accommodation for permanent residents of Kaslo & Area D who qualify according to BC Housing’s schema.


  1. All costs associated with approved project budget will be considered Project Costs.

  2. Any funds advanced by New Commons to cover approved Project Costs, will be reimbursed at the closing of the construction loan.


  1. Potential risks inherent in municipal approvals process include achieving political, community and staff support for the proposal.

  2. Potential failure to achieve enough capital funding to proceed with the Penny Lane Apartments development.

Approved by KHS Board, August 29, 2021

Penny Lane Apartments – A Project of the Kaslo Housing Society:

Executive Summary


The building site is in downtown Kaslo’s Heritage and Commercial Core, within walking distance of services and amenities. Measuring approximately 7,500 SF in area, the site fronts onto A Avenue and backs onto Penny Lane and is legally described as Parcel J (being a consolidation of Lots 30, 31 and 32, see CA9165077) Block 8, District Lot 208, Kootenay District, Plan 393. The location provides many necessary, cultural and recreational amenities for senior tenants, those with accessibility challenges and families with children. The site is presently municipally owned although that will change once an Agreement of Purchase and Sale between the Kaslo Housing Society (KHS) and the Village of Kaslo is finalized.

Integration in the Neighbourhood

It is the philosophy of the KHS that those whose housing situation will be served by this project are part of the ‘we’ of the community of Kaslo. It follows that the residents of our proposed building will be ‘us.’ As such, KHS wants to provide housing that is fully integrated into the community fabric of lower Kaslo, nearby services and opportunities.

Site Constraints

Site investigations have been conducted with no issues identified. Arrangements to relocate the Kemball Centre’s propane tank and generator, and Kaslo Infonet’s equipment and backup generator are underway. Other constraints include a vertical geothermal well and conduit, and a buried Fortis cable originating in Penny Lane and crossing the site approximately five feet inside the eastern property line.

The Building

The 3-storey building is being designed by architect Christine Ross of Sanca BC. Ross has extensive experience both with heritage design features and BC Housing.

Penny Lane Apartments will have 10 homes, with a mix of studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom homes to address a diversity of housing needs in Kaslo. Rents tenants will pay will correspond to Rent Geared to Income formulae prescribed by BC Housing. 3 of the 10 units will be rented out at rates comparable to other similar apartments in Kaslo and RDCK Area D.

Outdoor amenities provided include balconies for all units on the upper floors and modest common outdoor areas. 
The building includes a large entry foyer and large stair landings providing sitting and visiting areas for residents. All units have been equipped with storage and laundry facilities. It will be built at grade and will accommodate the site constraints by providing ample setback along the east side of the property and siting the building footprint to maintain a 
setback from the geothermal well. 8 parking spaces will be provided on site: 7 at the back of the building accessed from Penny Lane (north side) and one fully accessible space at the southeast corner of the site.

The design of the building incorporates architectural references to the historical nature of Kaslo’s downtown. It respects the Village’s Heritage Design Guidelines as well as BC Housing’s Design Guidelines and Construction Standards.

Since the Village of Kaslo has pledged to reach Net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, the building will be compliant with BC Energy STEP Code 4.

As Kaslo occasionally experiences prolonged power outages, KHS is exploring the possibility that one large generator could serve as a backup power source for the apartments, the Kemball Centre and Kaslo InfoNet’s fibre-optic infrastructure.

Project Partners

New Commons Development

(NCD) is an innovative and mission-driven, Toronto and Vancouver based non-profit real estate developer, working with their partners across Canada to build and preserve community real estate assets with a focus on affordable rental housing. New Commons Development will continue to support the project until full occupancy has been achieved and the operations phase initiated.

Architect and Prime Consultant

As a LEED Green Associate, Christine Ross has a special interest in creating sustainable buildings and projects.

Village of Kaslo

An Agreement of Purchase and Sale will convert ownership of the site to the Kaslo Housing Society for a nominal sum once the site has been re-zoned.

Kaslo Housing Society

KHS is the proponent for re-zoning, development and building permits, owner and operator of proposed facility. Board committees will review and recommend policies for adoption by the Board. Ongoing management and operation of the housing will be the responsibility of the Kaslo Housing Society and governed by an Operating Agreement with BC Housing.

Property Management and Maintenance

A Property Management Contractor, hired by KHS, will work with the KHS Building Committee and Resident and Neighbour Relations Committee, and will be responsible for implementing KHS’s building maintenance policies, will carry out basic day-to-day operations and tenant-related activities and will support the Board in establishing and updating the Capital and Operational Management Plans and associated budgets for the Penny Lane Apartments.

The KHS, with the support of the Property Management Contractor, will be responsible for developing and evaluating building operations and management policies, will contribute to the development of operating and capital budgets for the building and will develop and update the building maintenance schedule.

Recognizing the need to replace building components as the building ages, both short-term and long-term capital plans will be developed. Approximately 10% of the annual operating budget (which will include taxes and municipal fees) will be placed in a capital reserve fund, to cover future major maintenance requirements.

Operational Management Plan

In consultation with New Commons Development, an initial operational budget has been established, which accounts for projected vacancy loss, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and staffing and contribution to capital replacement reserves. The budget, which will be reviewed twice annually and will be subject to regular financial reports and audits, is designed to ensure adequate capacity for ongoing operations and maintenance activities while facilitating cash flow to support debt servicing and reduce the operating subsidy required from BC Housing.

Operational Goals

  • The building facilities are well-managed in a sustainable way for the benefit of residents, neighbours, and the community;
  • Tenancies are established with prospective residents in a fair, open, and fully informed way that is in conformance with applicable legislation and the project’s goal of providing secure and affordable housing for residents of Kaslo and RDCK Area D;
  • Financial sustainability is assured through maintenance, capital budgets and work plans, responsible financial controls, record-keeping, and reporting;
  • Positive relationships with the community, Village of Kaslo leaders and staff, neighbours and residents are valued and maintained.

August 29, 2021