An approximation of what BC Housing would like to construct on two sites in Vernon for homeless housing. (BC Housing photo)

Vernon chamber calls for transparency on proposed supportive housing projects

BC Housing must consult nearby businesses, residents, chamber president says

The province announced its plans to bring 100 homes to Vernonites in need, but the local chamber of commerce wants to ensure the processes will be transparent and consider the needs of businesses and residents alike.

Housing Minister Selina Robinson announced July 21, 2020, BC Housing would partner with Vernon’s Turning Points Collaborative Society on two proposals that would see more than 100 new homes built.

BC Housing will lead the construction of both proposed projects, on 2600 35th St. and 2307 43rd St. — the latter would see the derelict Howard House shelter demolished and 50 new supportive housing units built in its place.

“Supportive housing is very much needed in Vernon and we thank the provincial government for making such a significant investment,” Greater Vernon Chamber president Krystin Kempton said. “Housing is a critical part of ensuring people can access the services they require and move forward with their aspirations.”

BC Housing has indicated to public information sessions, albeit online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to see open and transparent dialogue,” Kempton said.

“There needs to be a clear strategy for BC Housing to consult directly with the nearby businesses, residents and community leaders about the scope of services and any potential concerns they may have,” Kempton said. “If supportive housing is to be successful, the community must be a full partner.”

The Vernon chamber said July 21, it hopes to have discussions with chamber member Turning Points Collaborative Society.

Turning Points would operate both new projects if approved and provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training and health and wellness support services.

If the projects are approved by the city, BC Housing will update the community with the estimated project costs and proposed construction timelines. Funding would come from the Province’s Supportive Housing Fund.

BC Housing will be hosting a virtual neighbourhood information session and will invite neighbours and members of the community to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback. More details will be shared in the coming weeks at: letstalkhousingbc.ca/vernon-supportive-housing.

The province is working in partnership to build more than 330 new affordable homes for people with a range of incomes in Vernon:

  • Housing for people with middle incomes: 41 homes at 3802A 27th Ave., 39 homes 3802 27th Ave. and 32 homes at 3800 27th Ave.
  • Housing for people with low to moderate incomes, including families, seniors and Indigenous peoples: 29 homes at 3610 25th Ave., 12 homes at 4005 Pleasant Valley Rd., 45 homes at 3400 Coldstream Ave. and 38 homes at 5545 27th Ave.
  • Above-mentioned already existing housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

READ MORE: 100 homes for Vernon homeless proposed

READ MORE: Coldstream mom hosts garden walk to raise funds for new elevator for sons living with rare condition


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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