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

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

100 homes for North Okanagan’s homeless proposed

Howard House demolition and addition to My Place

Shelter could be coming for some of the community’s most vulnerable.

The province is partnering with Turning Points Collaborative Society on two proposals that would bring more than 100 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in Vernon.

“When people have housing and supports that meet their needs, it’s good for everyone in the community,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Access to safe and secure housing gives people the stability and dignity they deserve, while wraparound supports help them to move forward, make healthy choices and build a better life.”

BC Housing would lead the construction of both buildings. The first development, located at 2600 35th St., would add 52 new homes with supports to the existing My Place, a 52-unit supportive housing building that TPCS has been operating since July 2019. The property is owned by BC Housing and is already zoned for use, but will need to go through the municipal approval process.

The second development, located at 2307 43rd St., would demolish the derelict Howard House shelter, which has long been slated for redevelopment, and build approximately 50 units of new supportive housing. The site is connected to Our Place, a 46-bed supportive housing building that TPCS has operated since March 2019. BC Housing will purchase the site from TPCS, which requires approval from the City of Vernon to be rezoned. The property is currently vacant.

“We are grateful to all our community partners, especially BC Housing and the City of Vernon,” said Randene Wejr, executive director, TPCS. “Together, we have already created homes for 56 individuals who were once experiencing homelessness. The proposed projects ahead will create more than 100 more homes. The strength of any community can be witnessed in how it takes care of its most vulnerable citizens, today we get to witness that great strength in Vernon.”

TPCS would operate both buildings 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: UPDATE: Missing Vernon woman found

READ MORE: B.C. Premier asks Trudeua to decriminalize illicit drug possession as deaths climb


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

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