Affordable / Attainable Housing

The City of Vernon recognizes that affordable/attainable housing is imperative for both the social and economic health of the community.  The City's efforts recognize the importance of promoting a variety of housing options that meet the housing needs of various demographics and income levels.

Affordable housing is targeted to low/average income earners, for example those who earn minimum wage or individuals who are receiving government assistance such as seniors or people with a disability (Photo gallery).

Attainable housing focuses on average/medium income households who have been priced out of the market or are struggling with higher rents.

The City of Vernon has initiated the following policies, programs and initiatives to encourage construction of affordable/attainable housing:

Rental Housing Incentive Grants

The City of Vernon launched the Rental Housing Incentive Grants Program to encourage the construction and operation of purpose-built rental housing. The program provides a grant equal to the City’s development cost charge levy or $4,000 per rental unit, whichever is the lesser. Multiple family developments with four or more dwelling units would be eligible for the grant program.

Secondary Suites

The City of Vernon encourages a secondary suite in single detached housing as a form of affordable housing in many areas of the community. The secondary suite application and the approval process has been significantly streamlined with reduced fees.

Development Cost Charges

The City of Vernon's Development Cost Charges (DCC) Bylaw contains a provision to waive City DCC's for "low income" housing projects. “Low Income Housing”, refers to property owned, developed or operated by a non-profit society, Government of Canada, Province of British Columbia or the local government as rental units for persons living in the North Okanagan, where the income of such persons falls beneath the low income cut-off amounts published by Statistics Canada from time to time, or as otherwise determined or agreed to by the local government, and where a Housing Agreement and restrictive covenant are registered on title.

Note that Regional District DCC charges are still applicable to low-income housing project.

Attainable Housing Strategy

The Attainable Housing Strategy sets out measures that the City of Vernon and the community can pursue in an effort to increase the supply of market housing units that are attainable to households at a range of incomes, particularly those at the lower and moderate levels.

Housing Agreement

City Council may enter into a housing agreement pursuant and/or covenant to the Local Government Act, as a condition of approval for affordable and/or special needs housing. A housing agreement can increase the maximum permitted density of units per gross area in zoning districts RM1, RM2, RH1, RH2 and RH3.

For more information on Housing Agreements, please contact the Current Planning Department at 250-550-3634.

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee

This committee monitors and provides Council with milestone achievements of the implementation of the City’s Attainable Housing Strategy and also provides Council with advice on affordable housing matters.