The City of Kelowna’s temporary outdoor shelter on Recreation Avenue. (File)

The City of Kelowna’s temporary outdoor shelter on Recreation Avenue. (File)

New supportive housing project for Kelowna’s homeless skips usual rezoning process

The project contains 38 modular housing units and is situated near the city-sanctioned camp on Recreation Avenue

New supportive housing options are on the way to those experiencing homelessness in Kelowna — without need for the usual rezoning from city council.

On May 20, the province announced it is building 38 modular housing units at 1055 and 1063 Ellis Street — nearby the current city-sanctioned camp on Recreation Avenue.

“The need for safe and secure housing has never been clearer, and these new homes will give more people a place to call their own,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are working quickly and urgently with our partners to protect all British Columbians during the COVID-19 crisis, including our province’s most vulnerable – because when people have housing, it’s good for everyone in the community.”

The city and the province are working to expedite the building process and removing the requirement of municipal rezoning. The property, previously listed for sale at nearly $2 million, is now set to be leased to the province by the City of Kelowna for 10 years. the property will go through the municipal rezoning process if the lease is extended beyond that.

“Homelessness is an evolving, dynamic crisis in our community, and these kinds of partnerships go a long way towards creating solutions,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “This is a strategic land investment that will not only create much-needed solutions in the short term but also has long-term potential with a future land use designation for multi-storey residential housing. In addition to being close to downtown, this property is ideally located adjacent to existing municipal park space and could fulfil many different civic objectives after expiry of the lease.”

The three-storey modular apartment building will include 38 self-contained studio units with private washrooms, showers and kitchens. The building will also include a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, laundry and a medical room.

“To provide people with the support and services they need to begin their recovery journey, they first need a place to call home,” said Stephanie Ball, executive director, Central Okanagan Journey Home Society. “This is a welcome addition to the over 100 units of housing with supports already planned to come on stream over the next two years as we work to meet the goals of Kelowna’s five-year plan to address homelessness.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna will operate the new housing. It will provide residents with on-site staff and support services at all hours. This includes meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.

“Access to safe and stable housing is a crucial first step needed for anyone who experiences homelessness so they can begin to get their feet back under them,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director, CMHA Kelowna. “We are proud to be the operators of this building and our other supportive housing in Kelowna so we can be there to help end the cycle of homelessness.”

The province is providing $9.5 million to the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy of $1.3 million.

Site preparation work will start in June, with construction expected to be complete in fall 2020.

READ MORE: Third person charged in attack on homeless man in downtown Kelowna

READ MORE: Government response to people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Housing

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

Just Posted

Loud beats reverberate through the room as Total Fitness Zumba class participants follow along to the instructor’s moves during a drop-in fundraiser for the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle to be constructed at Salmon Arm West School. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)
City-run fitness classes paused in Vernon

Greater Vernon Recreation Services pauses play in wake of province’s new health orders

Welcome Lars, the elf. Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation's newest representative for the Light a Bulb campaign. (Contributed)
Vernon hospital welcomes new elf for Light a Bulb campaign

The passing of candy cane from elf-to-elf warrants a colouring contest!

(Morning Star file photo)
Lumby bylaw complaints skyrocket in 2020

Bylaw officers have seen an 80 per cent increase in complaints over 2019, with two months yet to be recorded

Greater Vernon Water rates will increase an average of 2.4 per cent over the next four years after the Regional District of North Okanagan adopted a new water rate bylaw on Wednesday, Nov. 18. (File photo)
Regional District North Okanagan approves four-year water rate bylaw

Water rates for Greater Vernon Water users to climb an average of 2.4 per cent over the four years

A new primary health clinic at the Okanagan Indian Band Health Centre is now providing members with doctors on reserve. (Stock photo)
New Okanagan Indian Band primary care clinic now accepting patients

The clinic is giving OKIB members access to doctors and nurses on reserve

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

Central Okanagan Public Schools administration office in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed in 5 more Central Okanagan schools

All people who tested positive for the virus are self isolating at home

Penticton Law Courts
Bail hearing for Penticton man charged with sex assault, forcible confinement

Robert Sauve is facing more than 10 criminal charges

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
Revelstoke RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

Most Read