This 20-storey social housing highrise, funded by BC Housing, was approved Tuesday for Bertram Street in downtown Kelowna by city council. The property had been limited to a 12-storey project, but council granted a height variance.

Plans for a 20-storey downtown Kelowna tower, funded by BC Housing, will come before city council for approval on Oct. 5

Council is being asked to grant a height variance because the building site, at 1451 Bertram St., is supposed to have a 12-story maximum.

Municipal planners recommend council grant the variance, in part, because the 176 all-rental suites would provide affordable housing.

Most of the suites would be offered at below-market rental rates, and the project would include a daycare.

"The project is intended to benefit local medium- and low-income earners, couples, individuals and families who are facing challenges meeting their housing and childcare needs," planners write in a report to council.

Because a height variance is being sought, interested members of the community will have the chance to address council on the proposal. The anticipated start time on the Oct. 5 agenda is 6:15 p.m.

The high-rise would be a first for BC Housing in Kelowna as the Crown corporation's projects are typically in the four- to five-storey range.