Olivia Lewis decorates the walls of her new affordable rental unit Tuesday in the freshly built Vernon Viridian complex on 24th Avenue. Check out a video on Viridian’s opening at vernonmorningstar.com.

An affordable place in Vernon to call home

Vernon Viridian, operated by Kindale Developmental Association, is a 20-unit townhouse complex in Vernon that opened Tuesday



Olivia Lewis got down on one knee, looked up at Kindale Developmental Association executive director B Elliot, put forth the plate of chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, and popped the question:

“Will you give me a place to live?”

A smile broke out across Elliot’s face. Her answer was going to be yes before Lewis asked the magical question.

Even without the cookies, Elliot was going to tell Lewis, a 2012 graduate of W.L. Seaton Secondary, she was a successful applicant for one of the 20 units at Vernon Viridian, an affordable housing project that Kindale will manage in the 3700 block of 24th Avenue in Vernon.

“I just moved in Sept. 20, a Friday, and it was very exciting,” said Lewis during the official opening of the Viridian project Tuesday.

“It was brand new, it smelled nice, looked nice. Everyone involved with it was amazing. The people who live here are going to be so thankful and happy.”

Shaking nervously Tuesday as she told her story to  a small crowd of dignitaries, Lewis told how far she has come in her life from being in foster care to now living independently in her new one-bedroom townhouse.

“I am today living on my own with my own car, being able to open my own garage with an opener and having all of that space for myself and decorating it and making it look pretty,” smiled Lewis. “I’m really happy.”

As of Tuesday, 18 of the 20 units had been filled by Kindale.

For Elliot, the joy that people have shown when they’ve seen their units is rewarding.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said of the tenants’ respective stories and reactions.

“The hugs, the kisses, the tears of joy, the stories of new beginnings and what a difference it’s going to make in their lives.”

Elliot said Kindale was showing the available bachelor and two-bedroom units Tuesday night.

“We’re hoping for full occupancy by Nov. 1,” she stated.

The townhouse development consists of eight bachelor, eight one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units.

They all fall under the umbrella of affordable housing, which is fantastic for Annette Sharkey, executive director of the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan.

“To get 20 units of affordable housing into our housing stock is huge,” said Sharkey at Tuesday’s opening.

“What this brings to the people who are going to live here is incredible.”

The capital cost of the Viridian project was just shy of $3 million.

The B.C. government provided more than $2.85 million for the purchase of the land and capital costs while the City of Vernon waived more than $81,300 in development cost charges.

The city and provincial government were represented at Tuesday’s opening by Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick,

 

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers name Connor Marritt captain

Takes over from graduating veteran, and fellow Okanagan native, Jagger Williamson

Vernon pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

The annual event takes place Sunday, June 23 at Creekside Park in Coldstream

Pre-registrations, sponsorships and donations for the CMHA annual Ride Don’t Hide event… Continue reading

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Most Read