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Kelowna approves rental housing grant in response to low vacancy rate

Finding a rental in Kelowna is a huge struggle, but a recommendation passed by city council yesterday hopes to improve the rental market in 2018.

Four separate rental projects in Kelowna will be receiving housing grants totaling $420,000 in an attempt to address a shortage in the city’s rental housing supply.

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow</who>

City council approved the grant yesterday, taking effect this year. A total of 302 units at the four properties will be available to seniors and students as affordable housing.

Kelowna was singled out as being the hardest city in Canada to find a rental unit. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported that Kelowna has the lowest vacancy rate in Canada.

The CMHC report for 2017 also said that while the cost of rental units surged last year, and the vacancy rate decreased from 0.6% in 2016 to 0.2% in 2017.

The grants will be applied against the development cost charges for each project. In order for applicants to be eligible for the grants, a housing agreement must be signed to secure the rental dwellings for a minimum of 10 years.

The city hopes that the rental housing grants will help offset the cost of developing rental housing.

The following projects were recommended for rental housing grants for 2018:

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