Christine Scott-Nyuli may not be able to solve every problem she sees, but she said she wants to address the ones she can.
“It’s all you hear in town that there is no affordable housing,” she said. “For the last nine years I’ve been sort of listening to the same message over and over and over again.”
As the managing partner with Generation Homes in Invermere, Ms. Scott-Nyuli is hoping to build “an adorable little community” of 30 units on the vacant property at 606 10th Avenue. The strata units will be around 900 square feet. The basement units will be walkout suites and can be made to be wheelchair friendly. Some of the units will be held as long-term rentals.
Ms. Scott-Nyuli wants to provide homes for sale under $300,000 both for those who are downsizing and for those who are looking to get into the housing market for the first time.
“Very shortly we’re going to have a lot of people who are not ready for Columbia House or Ivy House but who are not able to maintain a large family home,” she said. “It’s perfect for the aging market because it’s right next to the hospital, it’s right next to the pharmacy. If you can’t drive anymore… you can walk to grocery stores, you can walk to all the amenities.”
She also sees the units as a step forward for first-time buyers and single mothers.
“It’s very expensive to get started here so this becomes the stepping stone to home ownership,” she said. “If you can start somewhere, even if it’s smaller than maybe you wanted or it doesn’t have all the amenities you want, you get to start somewhere and then start building your equity, building your life back up… It can change their whole world to get that first baby step up.”
While Invermere council was initially lukewarm about Generation Homes’ rezoning application, they’ve warmed to the idea now that they’ve received more information.
“I was fairly impressed with them when they stopped in,” Councillor Greg Anderson said, adding that he thinks the development could be a good opportunity for the community.
Mayor Al Miller said the proposal from Generation Homes is “going to change the landscape there” and that he looks forward to hearing what residents think about the proposed development.
“At least half of (the units) are going to be quite accessible friendly. I certainly appreciate seeing that,” he said.
There will be a public hearing about Ms. Scott-Nyuli’s plans for Generation Homes at the District of Invermere council chambers on March 19th at 7 p.m.