An attainable housing project is underway for the South Shuswap. (Google Maps)

Attainable housing project underway for the South Shuswap

Habitat for Humanity, South Shuswap Housing Society, work together to supply accommodation

Attainable housing is in the works for the South Shuswap.

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, which includes the Shuswap, has announced that it and the South Shuswap Housing Society are partnering to build attainable housing.

The project will include housing for families, people with special needs, seniors and veterans in the South Shuswap.

“The Habitat Kamloops project is currently in the planning phase of the build process,” writes Correen Genshorek, executive administrator for Habitat for Humanity Kamloops (HFHK).

She said HFHK and the housing society will continue to work closely to establish locations for the builds and start the permitting process.

Members of the South Shuswap board are enthusiastic.

“We are very excited to be entering into the wonderful process with HFHK. We know this will have a positive impact on our community,” said the Reverend Michael Shapcott, executive director of the Sorrento Centre.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity committed to becoming part of Salmon Arm

Read more: Habit for Humanity help Secwépemc families build houses near Chase

The two organizations plan to work together to provide safe, decent and attainable housing in the region. Genshorek said the project will not only assist with and improve housing in the region, but will also help to create jobs.

In a January 2020 interview with Bill Miller, executive director of Habit for Humanity Kamloops, he explained that Habitat prefers to use the term “attainability” instead of “affordability.”

Referring to past financing of single family housing, he said historically projects were of the barn-raising model, where people came together and donated time and materials.

That model no longer works in today’s economy where land prices are as high as they are, he said.

“In Kamloops, our average house price went over $500,000 in April of last year.”

The mortgage model was changed where the organization blends contributions of grants, donations, in-kind gifts with a nominal amount of first-mortgage financing so the costs of building the house can be covered.

“There’s some very flexible financing.”
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