A Vernon councillor has put out a notice of motion requesting an audit of all BC Housing projects in the city. Council will review at its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (BC Housing photo)

A Vernon councillor has put out a notice of motion requesting an audit of all BC Housing projects in the city. Council will review at its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (BC Housing photo)

UPDATE: Vernon councillor to refocus ‘too broad’ housing audit motion

City councillor withdrew motion which could have seen projects temporarily suspended at the meeting’s start

Vernon Coun. Scott Anderson pulled back his notice of motion to temporarily suspend all supportive housing projects until an independent review of BC Housing-funded projects could be complete, but he said it will come back in some capacity at a later date.

Anderson’s notice of motion, which was to be discussed for the first time during today’s meeting of council (Feb. 22), was pulled during the agenda approval process as the meeting started at 1:30 p.m.

The motion requested council support a City of Penticton motion, calling for an independent audit of BC Housing-funded projects. It also requested that BC Housing not apply for the Penticton property until the audit is completed and made public and that an audit of the city’s entire BC Housing stock be done. If passed, Vernon would follow suit.

“To be clear,” he said in a statement issued mid-meeting. “I withdrew my motion to audit BC Housing because it was too broad in scope, and unfortunately included BC Housing initiatives that I’m in favour of.

“The focus should have been only on so-called ‘supportive housing’ and I, unfortunately, didn’t make that clear enough,” he said. “And calling for a temporary moratorium on future projects was too broad a goal and it’s far too soon to make it.”

Anderson’s rationale was that council has “little to no information” from BC Housing on need assessments, mental health support programs in place, or expectations for people staying in the residences.

“It is unclear what method BC Housing uses to determine need for services locally,” his motion says while noting there also needs to be an impact assessment on Vernon’s “significant and vulnerable” seniors population in areas near these projects.

In response, Turning Points Collaborative Society took to Facebook to voice its opposition to the motion. Vernon’s largest organization for supportive housing and outreach services, Turning Points responded to Coun. Anderson’s motion with a call to arms.

“We believe that this motion would do nothing more than cause disruption in our community’s strong relationship with BC Housing, create a distraction for city staff and elected officials, cost the province an enormous amount of money, and potentially put vulnerable lives at risk,” the society’s Feb. 19 post states.

Anderson’s motion was also met with criticism from area residents online.

But, Anderson said while he withdrew this motion because it’s too broad, “let this serve as notice that I intend to bring back a more focused motion in the future.”

— with Brendan Shykora files

READ MORE: Vernon councillor calls for audit of city’s supportive housing project

READ MORE: UPDATE: Fundraiser for Winfield woman in ICU after being struck by car


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Vernon Morning Star Boomer Talk columnist says while we must use caution while dealing with COVID-19, we must also take care of the mental health of those who must live either permanently or temporarily in our care. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal/AP file photo)
BOOMER TALK: Long term care is around the corner

Columnist recounts mother’s stay in local medical facility amid pandemic

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Charlie, a chocolate lab/German shorthaired pointer mix, helps announce the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Join The Pack dog licence challenge, which wraps March 5. (Facebook photo)
Celebrity dogs announce North Okanagan licence challenge

Regional District of North Okanagan hopes to licence 1,500 more dogs by March 5

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

Most Read