In my last article, I explored the possibility of micro-apartments in the Brandon market and if current renters or potential renters were keen and ready for this type of living arrangement.
From the feedback that we received (which was very much appreciated), readers suggested that smaller apartments would indeed be welcome, however, most suggested that they should have one private bathroom and some commented that they would only be interested if the units had private laundry facilities.
Based on this criteria, a design could be drafted to keep the units under 500 square feet, which is quite a bit smaller than most apartments. With building and land costs at the current level, we could potentially add these units to the market for a monthly rental rate of just under $900 per month.
We want to be cognizant of the fact, however, that Manitoba Housing has set affordable housing rates in Brandon at $640 per month, plus hydro for a one-bedroom apartment (https://www.gov.mb.ca/housing/progs/pil.html).
So, the question now becomes: is there value to having a newer and smaller place for $900 per month compared to living in an older place that might have shared laundry that offers more space?
In the end, the main issue that is identified after exploring all these options is that there are very few options to add affordable housing units, as defined by the Province of Manitoba, to the market that features all the amenities and basic requirements that people look for in an apartment.
We will, however, continue to keep a finger on the pulse of the market and try to offer variations in what is currently available in the area for rental accommodations.
In addition, we are also interested in what potential customers would like to see for multi-family accommodations. Our goal would be to meet and exceed expectations in terms of what people would like to see in our community to meet the needs of their living accommodations when larger families are involved.
With this in mind, we are very excited about adding more three-bedroom units at The Groves, Brandon’s newest townhouse community in the south end, which has already been very well received. We are also looking forward to the completion of The Summit, a new Life Lease Community on the North Hill, that has been popular in the pre-lease phase. Units at The Summit will be available later this fall.
Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has over 3,500 units under management in Manitoba. For more information please visit www.vhproperties.ca.