Currently, District staff is working with CitySpaces to complete a Housing Needs Assessment that evaluates the current housing stock and considers factors such as homelessness, secondary seasonal dwellings, and short-term rentals. The completed Assessment is expected to be presented to Council in December and will help guide the public consultation process for the proposed Habitat for Humanity Kamloops development.
In 2021, the District dedicated the southern portion of 425 and 433 Main Street to the Eagle Valley Senior Citizen’s Housing Society (EVSCHS) to accommodate 16 affordable housing units for low-income families. EVSCHC is receiving funding from BC Housing for the project which supports an additional 20 units of seniors housing on EVSCHC property located at 1095 Shuswap Avenue.
District of Sicamous Council has begun discussions with Habitat for Humanity Kamloops to develop a residential/commercial complex that will provide much-needed attainable housing in Sicamous.
“Council understands there is a housing shortage in Sicamous and Habitat for Humanity Kamloops is willing to work with us and offer a solution,” said Mayor Terry Rysz. “As a Council we have agreed to reserve the northern portion of 417 & 425 Main Street for attainable housing.”
The proposed multi-use development being presented by Habitat for Humanity Kamloops will be a mix of commercial/retail on the ground floor and residential dwellings on the upper floors that are designed to be universally accessible.
“From Habitat’s perspective, our overarching principle, and the reason for existing is to provide housing,” says Bill Miller, Executive Director for the Habitat Kamloops Society, who engaged Sicamous with the project after another community decided not to proceed.
If the District agrees to move ahead with the proposed development, Miller says much of the preliminary work has been completed including design, construction cost and operating plans which can all be reworked to align with the property layout as well as community objectives and Sicamous’ housing needs.
The District, EVSCHS and Habitat for Humanity Kamloops agree the proximity of the two housing projects presents shared benefits and opportunities such as the establishment of communal green spaces, walkability between buildings, and shared parking.