The Nakusp and Area Development Board (NADB) conducts regular engagement with the public and community leaders to determine current economic development priorities and diversification opportunities.  Over the past few years, the common challenge affecting nearly every sector in our community has been one of a lack of housing, particularly workforce housing.  Precluding meaningful growth—or even sustainability in some cases—this issue has negative impacts in all aspects of daily life: business, health care, education, and so on.

In 2023, NADB saw an opportunity to address the need in the community and had the foresight to focus the majority of its professional and volunteer resources on developing solutions to this urgent challenge.  Its economic development coordinator, Aidan McLaren-Caux, and business advisor, Dawn Driscoll, worked together to delve into solutions to address this and researched best practices from other communities in similar situations.  They consulted with community stakeholders and local government, conducted a comprehensive survey of both local employees and employers, and developed terms of reference for the initiative specific to our community as well as a recommendation for how to structure the ongoing project.

From their work, incubated and sponsored by NADB, they are in the process of forming the Upper Arrow Housing Society (UAHS).  Their mandate is to “work with community stakeholders to facilitate and deliver solutions to address the acute housing shortage for working individuals and families in the Nakusp and Upper Arrow Lakes region,” and their vision is “that Nakusp and surrounding communities have a supply of appropriate housing sufficient to meet the needs of the working public. That local businesses are able to maintain and grow their companies without restrictions imposed by the lack of available housing for prospective employees.”

To that end, UAHS and NADB are hosting a public information session on the evening of Thursday, February 29th, from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Emergency Services Building in Nakusp (300 8th Ave NW), and all are welcome.  The Village of Nakusp will have a presence at the event, with both the Chief Administrative Officer and the Director of Operations in attendance to discuss municipal opportunities and regulations.  Developers that are interested in building carriage homes and secondary suites will also provide information on opportunities for homeowners interested in investing in their properties.  Dawn and Aidan will be presenting on the work they have been doing to develop the UAHS and the long-term goals for the society, the results from the local survey and how they will inform next steps, and—maybe most interesting to the public—some of the exciting opportunities that are currently available for short-term solutions, such as the Secondary Suite Incentive Program from the Province of BC, among others.

If you are unable to attend the event on the 29th or simply want to learn more about the new society please feel free to contact either Dawn or Aidan to discuss specific workforce housing opportunities at and