Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, along with other dignitaries, were on hand last August at the Bel-Air Motel to announce the conversion of the buildings into affordable rental housing, aimed at homeless and at-risk people.                                 Western News file photo

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, along with other dignitaries, were on hand last August at the Bel-Air Motel to announce the conversion of the buildings into affordable rental housing, aimed at homeless and at-risk people. Western News file photo

Mayor said “bad apples” taking advantage of social housing

Penticton RCMP say no one was hurt when shots were fired last week at a social housing complex

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says he is aware of the recent shooting incident and other problems at the Fairhaven social housing project.

The RCMP announced Friday they were seeking witnesses to a shooting that occurred the evening of Nov. 6 at the converted motel in southern Penticton, though the RCMP weren’t called to investigate until the next day.

“Investigators have confirmed that three individuals walked into the parking area of the single floor complex and approached the door to one of the units. Shots were fired in the direction of the unit and towards the parking lot area. To date it appears as though no one was hurt during the incident, and we are now seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

“The CAO (Peter Weeber) and I did have a briefing from the RCMP on Friday,” said Jakubeit, who said the city and RCMP both are following up on problems at Fairhaven.

“I think there has been some improvements made, but also some things that B.C. Housing needs to address and some things that Interior Health needs to address,” said Jakubeit. “My understanding is that some of those conversations the RCMP initiated and we are also following up on.”

RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager did not respond to a request for comment on the public’s concerns over the social housing units. However, his recent quarterly report to Penticton council included a map showing only slightly more calls in the general area of Fairhaven; the area marked on the map also includes shopping and commercial areas.

Related: Property crime on the rise in South Okanagan

The 42-unit Bel Air motel was purchased by the Province of B.C. last year, renamed Fairhaven and converted to social housing. A similar project is in the works for the former Super 8 motel, expected to go into full operation next summer as Compass Court.

Related: Penticton motel to become affordable rental housing

Jakubeit said the concept behind Fairhaven was to create transitional second-stage housing, dealing with those at risk or vulnerable.

“Predators preying on the most vulnerable in their most vulnerable times is not what the concept was geared to help facilitate,” said Jakubeit. “We will also lobby and advocate for B.C. Housing and Interior Health to recognize it and put changes in place. B.C. Housing are really the ones that are operating Fairhaven.”

Jakubeit said the concept of social housing is important and needed in the community.

“Everyone acknowledges the importance. What they disagree on is the location,” said Jakubeit, adding that it is frustrating that “bad apples” are taking advantage of a system intended to provide helping services so people can regain some dignity and get their life back in order, start contributing to the community and leading a full life.

“This all sounds great in theory. It is an issue that is larger than Penticton; it is throughout the whole province,” said Jakubeit. “We’re trying to be proactive, so people who are dealing with mental health or homelessness or addiction are getting the services they need so they aren’t causing the community further problems. “

RCMP investigators are looking to identify two individuals involved in the Nov. 6 shooting: one male described as wearing a black ball cap, light-coloured ski jacket, dark pants and shoes; and one female described as wearing a dark-coloured hooded jacket, light-coloured pants and shoes, carrying a rectangular backpack.

The Penticton RCMP are urging anyone with information who has not already spoken to investigators, to contact the General Investigation Section at 250-492-4300 or for those wishing to remain anonymous to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Related: Super 8 getting more than social housing

Just Posted

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
North Okanagan teen named to national Para-Alpine ski team

18-year-old Logan Leach officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Okanagan bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Most Read