Okanagan Village Housing Society believes in providing safe, comfortable, and affordable housing. We strive to provide a variety of housing types to accommodate various household needs in the community.
We hope to answer some of the most common questions about our affordable housing, below. Please also read about each of our housing locations under the Housing tab.
Unfortunately, OKVHS does not provide emergency housing. Emergency shelter options in Vernon:
Turning Points for Men 250-542-3555
Gateway Support Services for Men and Women. Men: 250-260-2792, Women: 250-260-2786
Archway for Women 250-542-1122 or text 250-540-0656
Complete a housing application for a location that is most suited to your household’s needs. Applicants are then put onto a waiting list and when a unit becomes available, an applicant is chosen from the waiting list.
Applications are available under each housing location on the website. Click on the “Housing” tab and select a location, and scroll to the Application Form section on the page, which can be filled out and submitted online.
Paper applications for all locations can be picked up, by appointment only. Call 250-545-6475 to make an appointment.
Income sources and amounts must be provided to determine eligibility for our various housing units. We calculate rent amounts in 3 different categories – Deep Subsidy, RGI – Rent Geared to Income, and Market Rent.
Additionally, household compositions identify the size of unit applicants would be eligible for. For example, singles qualify for Studio and 1 Bedroom units, couples without dependants qualify for 1 Bedroom units only. Single parents and couples with dependants qualify for 2 or 3 bedroom units. The number of bedrooms is determined by the National Occupancy Standards.
*NOTE: Village at Creekside is single occupancy per Studio and 1 Bedroom unit only. 1 Bedroom units are not available to couples at this location.
Affordable housing is at critically low levels, where the number of applicants is much greater than the number of units available. The length of time an applicant waits will vary depending on the type of request and the number of units available. It is not uncommon for applicants to wait a number of years.
New placements can only take place when a current tenant moves out. OKVHS does not have units available for emergency situations, units are always appropriately filled to maintain full occupancy.
Due to the number of applications we receive, applications are only kept on the active file for one year. Applicants need to provide an update within this time if they are still actively looking for housing.
OKVHS is not able to provide this information since new applications are regularly submitted and the priority of placement is constantly changing. As a result, OKVHS only reviews the priority of the waiting list when a unit becomes available.
Placements are made from the waiting list and are based on a number of factors. These include but are not limited to:
Availability: What type of unit is coming up (i.e. Studio, 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms?)
Eligibility: What type of subsidy is available for this unit
Suitability: Are there any physical limitations of the applicant such as stairs. (i.e. Village at Creekside is a 2 storey building without an elevator.)
Current Housing Urgency: OKVHS considers various information regarding current cost of housing, current living conditions, length of time on waiting list, etc.
References: Good references from prior landlords are an important factor in the evaluation process. Landlord contact information is required for all applications, but we do not contact references until we are able to offer a housing unit to shortlisted applicants.
Village at Creekside and Under One Roof are not pet-friendly. Emotional and therapy animals are not recognized or allowed.
The Villages at Pleasant Valley and Okanagan Landing accept pets, per the information below.
*THIS POLICY IS NOT YET FINAL AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PRIOR TO TENANCY BEING OFFERED.
One (1) indoor cat and/or one (1) dog is permitted per rental unit, upon written authorization of the Building Manager.
Small, caged mammals and/or reptiles (dry cage or dry aquarium only) may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Birds of any species, fish, or aquatic reptiles or amphibians are not permitted.
Deep Subsidy – for tenants on government/income assistance and/or PWD as their primary income source(s) for all 12 months of the year. A flat rate starting at $320 (depending on family size) set by BC Housing.
RGI (Rent Geared to Income) – for tenants typically with employment and/or pension incomes that are below the annual gross income amounts. To determine the rent amount, calculate gross monthly income at 30%. (For example, $2000 x 30% = $600)
Market Rent – for tenants that meet the annual and monthly gross income amounts, AND do not receive any government income assistance/disability. Market Rent is set by BC Housing as the maximum rate for the unit size, typically well below the current private rental market rates.
All tenants have income verification and rent assessed annually each spring.
For Market Rate tenants, income is verified at the beginning of the tenancy, and reviewed when requested by the tenant(s), or during an audit. Market Rate tenants are subject to annual rent increases in accordance with the RTB.
For Deep Subsidy tenants approaching 65 years of age, a Rent Adjustment review must be conducted as income will convert to CPP and/or OAS/GIS pensions, thereby typically changing the tenant to RGI status.
Tenants are required to inform OKVHS when income sources and/or amounts change significantly, so an eligibility and Rent Adjustment review can be conducted. Eligibility and rent amounts may also be re-calculated when there is a change in the number of occupants in the household. If a household’s income rises, or lowers/changes, beyond the eligibility guidelines, a tenant may be asked to move out or transfer within a reasonable time frame.
Most often the timing of placements relates to the differences in eligibility for one of the units. OKVHS manages a variety of housing units in multiple locations with a mix of Studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms. Some units are for families, some for singles only, and some for seniors 55+, etc.
When a unit becomes available, only the applications eligible for that unit are reviewed and current eligibility is confirmed. Due to the complexity of determining eligibility for each category, we ask that applicants contact OKVHS to update their file when they have a change of income, accommodation, phone number or family size.
As difficult as some situations are, there are always applicants with equal or greater needs. When choosing between very needy households, OKVHS must rely on the most current information supplied by the applicants and carefully review all the factors noted in item 6 above.
KEEP YOUR FILE UP TO DATE
If we receive no contact from the applicant within a 12-month period, the application is marked inactive. (This means the applicant will not be considered if a unit becomes available.)
If a call is received from an applicant after the 12-month period, the application is archived. (This means the application is removed from the wait list.)
If you no longer desire to live in an OKVHS housing unit, please let us know so that your application can be removed from the application waiting list.
It is important to remember that things move slowly in regard to housing, and it is for that reason we ask people to only update annually (once a year) except for cases where relevant household information has changed. Weekly or monthly calls to check on your application has no bearing on an applicants chances to get in as only after an entire year do we mark an application as inactive.
If you are needing to update your housing application or are advocating for someone and want to either email additional information or support them please email or call us. See our Contact page for that information.
OKVHS is one of a number of affordable housing organizations in Vernon. Since the various organizations do not share waiting lists, we encourage applicants to contact each group in order to apply for housing.
Other housing societies include:
Canadian Mental Health Association – https://cmhavernon.ca/ or 250-542-3114
Kindale Developmental Association – https://www.kindale.net/ or 250-546-3005
Turning points Collaborative Society – http://turningpoints.ngo/ or 250-542-3555
Vernon Native Housing Society – http://www.vernonnativehousing.ca/ or 250-542-2834
Affordable Housing: Both the federal and provincial governments have set up programs that are aimed at assisting low to moderate income households by providing housing at a cost below the going market rates. Over the years, both levels of government have instituted numerous programs to accomplish this objective. Many affordable housing programs are operated in partnership with non-profit organizations like OKVHS.
BC Housing: The British Columbia Housing and Management commission (also known as BCHMC) is a crown corporation of the Province of BC.
CMHC: Canada mortgage and Housing Corporation is a crown corporation of the Government of Canada and is the agency responsible for the admissions of many of the housing related programs offered through the federal government.
Family: for the purposes of housing allocations, means a minimum of 2 persons and must include at least 1 dependent child (under 19 years of age)
Rent-Geared-To-Income: refers to the setting of the monthly payment amount for a tenant. The formula is set by BC Housing and tenants pay approximately 30$ of gross household income.
Person with a Disability: for the purposes of housing allocations, means a person who, in the written opinion of a medical doctor or registered psychologist, has a significant permanent disability that cannot be significantly permanently improved by medical treatment.