The Ambrosia affordable housing complex is steadily on its way to completion. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)

The Ambrosia affordable housing complex is steadily on its way to completion. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)

Breaking down what Keremeos’ Ambrosia offers

A little guide to what affordable, subsidized and market-rate rentals are

With Ambrosia continuing to get closer to completion, there have been many questions in the community about what the new affordable housing project will actually bring to the community.

Terms like income-geared rent, subsidized rent, affordable rent and supportive housing all get thrown around quite often.

This development will feature a 20-50-30 per cent ratio of subsidized, affordable and market rate residential units.

Let’s start with the last of those. The market-rate units will be rented close to the average rental price in the area, and renting at that rate allows for other units in the building to be made more affordable.

“So we’re going to start with advertising starting at around the market rental rates, under our contract language that specifically means 10 per cent below the market,” said Sarah Martin, the executive director for the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.

”We have to have our market spots filled to offer our deep subsidies.”

READ MORE: Ambrosia rising up to second-storey in Keremeos

The subsidized units, at the opposite end, will have rates closer to $400 to $500, specifically for those individuals who live on disability payments or limited retirement funds.

Most of the units fall in the middle, with rates reduced and made affordable for seniors, families and individuals who can’t afford the market rate. These units, which are rent-geared-to-income, will be offered at 30 per cent of the renter’s income, or the renting household for families.

All of the units will be built to the same standard.

“This is a model used all over the world,” said Martin. “It’s way ahead in Europe and fairly new to Canada. With them, you’re not seeing a density of socio-economic likenesses in a single building or neighbourhood, diversity is always good in a neighbourhood.”

Out of the 43 total units at Ambrosia, seven will be fully wheelchair accessible. Three will be studio apartments, while the other four will be one-bedroom sized. How the remaining units will be distributed is still being determined.

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