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Affordable Housing

The Housing Continuum

Housing that can be built new to reach households at the below $40,000 income level, requires outside funding or government subsidies. It generally cannot be built as part of the conventional housing market. This is why we refer to “market” and “non-market” housing. In the illustration below, non-market housing is shown on the left side of the red dashed line. Addressing the non-market housing need cannot be done at the local government level alone, but requires the commitment and dedication of all sectors, including federal and provincial governments, plus the private and non-profit business sectors, as well as the community at large.

Housing Continuum  

Defining Affordable

The City uses the income for Kelowna households from the Census as the first indicator of affordability. It also assumes that income may rise to meet the rate of inflation each year.

An acceptable benchmark of affordability is the proportion of income that is spent on housing; to be affordable, shelter should not account for more than 30% of one's before-tax income. Shelter costs should include: rent, mortgage costs, property taxes, heat and electricity.

The City has approved several definitions of affordability for Kelowna in the Official Community Plan including definitions for:

Rental housing affordability: the income required to spend no more than 30% of total household income before tax on the average rents for Kelowna published annually by CMHC.

Ownership affordability: the income level at which home ownership is possible (based on the median income level). The median income for a two or more person Kelowna household is $66,843 - updated annually using the BC Consumer Price Index.

Affordable Starter Home Price (Ownership affordability) 

The numbers below are based on the 2006 Census information, current mortgage, & mortgage insurance rates and adjusted utility, strate & property tax costs. Numbers are updated annually using the average annual BC Consumer Price Index

             $222,434    (non-strata titled, single ownership dwelling)                     

               $209,902     (strata titled dwelling) 

               $200,336     (manufactured home with pad rental, additional)

Rental Housing (Rental housing affordability)

Affordable rents and the maximum income of tenants eligible for affordable rental housing are as follows:



One Bedroom

Two Bedroom

Three Bedroom +

Average Rent






Annual Income
Before Tax to afford
at 30% income on shelter









  Rental Housing

Purpose-Built Rental Housing

Purpose built rental housing is considered to be a building of five or more dwellings that is intended to remain as rental for the long term. Purpose-built rental housing is considered as a form of affordable housing due to the fact that rent increases are controlled by the Province, that there is a shortage of this kind of housing in Kelowna and that few Kelowna tenant households can afford rents in stratified buildings or houses.

Related Links

BC Housing Listings
Housing Resource Handbook
Housing Resources Bulletin


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