Housing fee cut sought

There’s a push to help make affordable housing even more affordable

There’s a push to help make affordable housing even more affordable.

The City of Vernon will ask the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to waive development cost charges for water and parks for non-profit organizations constructing affordable housing.

“We (the city) do waive DCCs for roads and sewers for non-profits and we just want to get the regional district in line,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who is GVAC chairperson, hopes there will be increased financial incentive for non-profit groups to proceed with housing.

“When we talk about affordable housing, those kinds of dollars per unit can have an impact on whether a project goes ahead,” she said.

Civic leaders congratulated

The City of Vernon is earning praise for its role in helping address homelessness.

Non-profit organizations have recognized the city as part of National Homeless Action Week.

“What we’ve done in Vernon could only be done because we have a progressive council,” said Barb Levesque, with the John Howard Society.

“By challenging and supporting us, we’ve had tremendous success.”

In recent years, a homeless shelter has opened, the Partners In Action group has formed to tackle social issues and the city has pushed senior government for affordable housing.

“We have a meaningful role to play with our partners. We can only do it together,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“It’s easy to ignore what’s going on because we’re all rather comfortable.”

Respect lives here

A community art project that encourages diversity is moving ahead.

Vernon council has agreed to the installation of seven mural boards on 31st Street as part of the Respect Lives Here, I Am project.

“It won’t be a permanent art project but we want the public to view the boards,” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council.

The Social Planning Council initiated the art project with support from the Thompson-Okanagan Respect Network, which celebrates diversity and multiculturalism.

Several groups were selected to write an I am alphabet with artist Ryan Robson, and the words were painted onto large mural boards.

The locations for the boards are Nolan’s Pharmasave, Toppers Cleaners, the old Vernon Flower Shop building and the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society.