Motel may become shelter

B.C. Housing has purchased the former Motel Super 8 in Penticton, with plans of turning it into housing for those in need of mental health and addictions services and others in housing crisis.

The conversion of the 54-unit motel has been a bit of an open secret within the city, but was finally confirmed this week with a rezoning application for Tuesday’s council meeting.

The property will also be the new home for the city’s homeless and emergency weather response shelters, which are currently operating at Compass House in the downtown.

“The facility will be run by the Penticton and District Society for Community Living  in partnership with Interior Health, who will be managing the units intended for persons with mental health issues and the Salvation Army, who will be operating the emergency shelter and emergency weather shelter,” a City of Penticton staff report reads.

Major renovations will be needed to convert the existing pool area into the shelter. Other renovations to the property will include cosmetic upgrades, painting, new flooring and general clean-up of the existing motel rooms.

Once complete, the development will be dubbed “Compass Court.”

The staff report states environmental testing and plans are being developed with actual construction slated to begin after council’s zoning approval, if successful.

“The intent is for the emergency weather shelter to be open for November of this year as work on the long term housing units proceeds,” Planning Manager Blake Laven writes in the report.

Staff are recommending council approve the plan, citing a over 200-unit deficiency in local subsidized housing units.

“The need for this type of facility is evident, however, the question with this type of facility is always where an appropriate location would be,” Laven continues. The location selected by BC Housing for this project is, in staff’s consideration, a good location.”

“This is an area easily serviced by transit, is close to major shopping areas including several fast food restaurants, grocery stores and Value Village. More importantly, the site is close to the hospital and other emergency services.”

The facility will reportedly have “security measures in place” including fencing, locking gates and 24-hour-a-day on site management.

The report points to two previous motel conversions by BC Housing, at the Skaha Sunrise in 2010 and Fairhaven last year. “Growing pains” are acknowledged in the report, but both now have waitlists for entry. This new, “more ambitious” project will aim to take the pressure off those two developments “as the ‘high resource’ residents are better placed where they will succeed.”

If council accepts first reading on Tuesday, the project will be sent to public hearing on Aug 15.

BC Housing declined to comment, stating more information would be released next week.

More Penticton News



Send us your News Tips!


Penticton SPCA Featured Pet

Ferrero Penticton SPCA >


Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada