The City of Penticton has been granted its wish — or at least, parts of it — for a third-party review of existing BC Housing-owned supportive housing facilities in town.
Council first bounced around the idea of formally requesting an audit of Compass Court, Burdock House and Fairhaven supportive facilities in January.
Mayor John Vassilaki put forward the motion, adding a request that the review be completed before BC Housing applied for more supportive housing at their recently-purchased complex at 3240 Skaha Lake Road.
Later in the winter, Attorney General and Minister for Housing David Eby made a commitment to council that the review would take place.
Four months later, in a letter dated June 16, BC Housing announced it has retained Harry Cummings and Associates to conduct the review, which is expected to take six months.
The City of Penticton, while pleased the review is happening, says it falls short in some areas.
"City Council had requested that the report be completed prior to the application for more supportive housing in the community, specifically at 3240 Skaha Lake Road. While an application for housing has been made at 3240 Skaha Lake Road, BC Housing has re-oriented the focus towards a recovery housing model," reads a news release from the city dated June 22.
"The letter is vague on the level of public engagement that will occur. City council was specific in its request that the public, specifically those living and operating businesses in close proximity to these facilities, will be consulted as to the impact that these facilities have."
The letter, which can be read in full here, says the city "will be invited to provide data from first responders; this data will be integrated into the review as appropriate," and promises to keep the city updated on the progress of the review.
"In terms of what council is looking for, we’ve been clear from the beginning. BC Housing’s letter neither met our expectation for timely and aligned information, nor did it facilitate a notable stride forward on this issue,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki.
“In spite of our disappointment, the city will fully participate, and continue to push for transparency of process and results.”