UPDATE 11:15 a.m.
BC Housing has confirmed plans to put 60 temporary modular homes on city-owned land 2740 Highway 97 N.
"These new homes ensure that more vulnerable people in Kelowna have a safe, warm place to stay, with access to the supports they need to stabilize their lives," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing.
"We know these are only temporary options and there is more to do to create the permanent homes that lead to safer and healthier communities. I'm committed to working with the City of Kelowna and our non-profit partners to bring in more permanent supportive housing to address homelessness and the housing security challenges many are struggling with."
The province is providing a grant of approximately $3.9 million for the homes from the new Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH) program and will provide annual operating funding.
A non-profit organization will be contracted to operate the homes and provide support services, including meals, 24/7 staffing, access to skill training and support navigating the housing system.
"Every effort that helps people access safe and dignified housing options is a step in the right direction," said Tom Dyas, mayor of Kelowna.
"These rooms will reduce the number of people needing to shelter outside and allow people to connect more easily with health and wellness services. We are thankful the Province is taking meaningful action to address homelessness in our community through the HEART (Homeless Encampment Action Response Teams) and HEARTH program investments, which will help people transition from temporary to permanent housing."
Work on the site will begin in December. They are expected to be ready in early 2024.
BC Housing and the city say neighbours in the immediate area will be given “opportunities” to learn more about the development.
ORIGINAL 9:20 a.m.
The new location for a second temporary supportive housing project is going to be built at 2740 Highway 97 North in Kelowna.
BC Housing has sent letters to businesses in the area alerting them to the plan.
This is the second location in Kelowna with 60 tiny homes already being announced for Crowley Avenue.
The additional units will bring the total number of units in Kelowna to 120.
This "tiny home" development will also feature a combined community space, dining area, on-site laundry and a staff office. The project on Highway 97 is expected to use work camp style temporary housing, differing somewhat from the individual units being placed on Crowley Avenue.
The property at 2740 Highway 97 North was selected because it is city-owned vacant land with utility connections nearby. The site layout will be determined to minimize its impact on neighbours and incorporate features such as a fully fenced perimeter with 24 hour staffing, access control, security cameras and lighting.
Individuals moving into these new units will be assessed for their needs and matched with appropriate supports including:
- Health care referrals, wellness checks
- Outreach, and life skills training help with employment assistance
- connection and referral to community services and
The City of Kelowna says more information will be released later Thursday.