BC Housing announces purchase of Columbia Gardens, Rivers Edge for reno into rental housing

BC Housing has bought two aging rental apartments in Revelstoke and plans to upgrade them and rent them out.

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The Columbia Gardens apartment complex in the Columbia Park neighbourhood. Photo: Google Earth

BC Housing has announced it has bought the aging Columbia Gardens building and the Rivers Edge building and plans to convert the two rental complexes into “middle-income” housing. They plan to renovate the two buildings, saying it will add 38 more units to the pool because some of them are currently “unrentable.”

Here is a June 6 media release from BC Housing:

More people in Revelstoke will soon have access to much-needed rental housing, with the B.C. government’s new HousingHub facilitating the purchase of two rental properties in the community.

The two aging complexes will undergo remediation and renovations to improve the quality of the under-used buildings, and 38 units that are currently unrentable due to their poor condition will be reopened.

“People in Revelstoke, like many other communities, have struggled for too long to find an affordable place to live,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By purchasing these properties, we are making sure that middle-income individuals and families continue to have access to rental homes they can afford.”

The Province is investing approximately $12 million to purchase the properties, which have a total of 117 rental units for middle-income individuals and families:

  • Columbia Gardens, located at 1949 LaForme Blvd. – a 73-unit apartment and townhouse rental complex, which was purchased for $7.1 million.
  • Rivers Edge, located at 1211 Front St. – a 44-unit three-storey apartment building, which was purchased for $5 million.

BC Housing is assessing both buildings for needed upgrades, with renovations expected to begin as early as this summer.

“The City of Revelstoke is very excited that BC Housing came to the table and purchased these two rental buildings,” said Gary Sulz, mayor, City of Revelstoke. “We are grateful that they will provide the opportunity for more residents to obtain rental housing.”

Tenants living at both sites will not be required to move and their rents will not be affected.

Revelstoke Property Services will manage both buildings in the near term. BC Housing will work with local non-profit housing providers and the surrounding community to develop a partnership and long-term management plan for these two sites.

The HousingHub is a division within BC Housing established in 2018 as part of B.C.’s 10-year housing plan to increase affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians. It acts as a centre for housing expertise and collaboration, and helps create housing either through new construction or through redeveloping existing sites.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

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