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Provincial secondary suite program expands to the Kootenays

A B.C. government program aimed at adding more affordable rental housing options will expand to regional districts in the Kootenays.

The Regional Districts of East and Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary will be eligible for the province’s Secondary Suites Incentive Program (SSIP).

“We’re expanding the secondary suite program as part of our Homes for People action plan to support the supply of affordable long-term rentals in even more areas of the province so more people can access below-market housing in urban and rural areas alike,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We’re using innovative solutions to make it easier for homeowners and communities to build homes faster, so people can live and work in the communities they love.”

B.C. government officials said the three-year pilot SSIP is set to launch in April, and aims to support the delivery of up to 1,000 affordable rental units per year.

“The SSIP will provide approximately 3,000 homeowners with forgivable loans for as much as $40,000 to create a new secondary suite or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property,” said B.C. government officials.

Units must be rented out at below-market rates for at least five years to qualify.

“Rural homeowners who want to create a rental suite and people looking for affordable homes in rural B.C. will have more options soon,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “The housing crisis affects all corners of the province. Giving people more options and support is important, and the addition of below-market rental suites and accessory units will help rural people, and communities, everywhere.”

Officials said the three Kootenay regional districts are among 13 others that have the necessary building bylaws, and building permit and inspection services across their electoral areas that fit eligibility for the SSIP pilot.

The SSIP will be expanded to the following 16 regional districts:

  • Alberni-Clayoquot
  • Capital
  • Central Kootenay
  • Central Okanagan
  • Cowichan Valley
  • East Kootenay
  • Fraser Valley
  • Fraser-Fort George
  • Kootenay Boundary
  • Nanaimo
  • North Okanagan
  • Squamish-Lillooet
  • Strathcona
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Thompson-Nicola
  • Peace River

The province has published its Home Suite Home guide to building and maintaining a rental suite to help homeowners navigate the process for a secondary suite.

More: Home Suite Home guide (B.C. government)

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