BC Housing is building a four-storey, 54 unit supportive housing on an empty site it purchased on Skaha Lake Road. They plan to model it after the existing Burdock House on Winnipeg Street. (Rendering from BC Housing)

BC Housing is building a four-storey, 54 unit supportive housing on an empty site it purchased on Skaha Lake Road. They plan to model it after the existing Burdock House on Winnipeg Street. (Rendering from BC Housing)

Penticton wants guidelines for where homeless housing should and shouldn’t go

BC Housing’s Skaha Lake Road project is on the no-go list to be discussed at Monday’s meeting

Setting up guidelines where homeless shelters and supportive housing should and shouldn’t go will be the hot topic again at Penticton’s Safety and Security Committee meeting on Monday.

Blake Laven, the city’s director of development services, will present an update on the proposed guidelines of where future shelters and supportive housing should be placed.

Penticton city council wants to set up guidelines so that the provincial government can be made aware of its boundaries.

One of the suggested no-go zones is Skaha Lake Road where BC Housing is building a four-storey, 54-unit supportive housing for those experiencing homeless. Several people in reflective vests were walking the site last week, leading to speculation if work is getting underway soon.

BC Housing is hoping to have people in that housing project by 2022.

The Western News reached out to BC Housing about the timelines on the Skaha Lake Road project but hasn’t heard back.

The city has gone on record that it is against the location of the Skaha project, saying several times that Penticton has more supportive housing for the homeless than any other municipality in the Interior region.

In January, Mayor John Vassilaki told the Western News that BC Housing isn’t helping the people it serves.

“Speaking for myself here, not council, I don’t want to see Penticton turn into ghettos. BC Housing has the motels for the homeless in Skaha, they have the motels along Main St., projects on Martin and Winnipeg St. Are these really helping people with their addictions or mental health? BC Housing doesn’t seem to get to the root of the problem. They just put a Band-aid on it.”

READ MORE: Penticton mayor and MLA share concerns over Skaha BC Housing

In a spat over the Victory Church shelter’s temporary permit, BC Housing minister David Eby said the province doesn’t require a development permit to go ahead with building the Skaha Lake Road housing, using its paramountcy powers to move the housing along.

Eby has already used the government’s paramountcy powers to override city council’s decision to close the temporary shelter at Victory Church. He said he plans to do the same for Skaha.

The provincial government is overseeing costs to keep that shelter open “until housing is available” at the Skaha Lake Road project, said Eby.

At its last meeting, council voted to have the premier intervene with the shelter issue. It also decided to go ahead with legal action against the provincial government.

Council also sought support from other municipalities in B.C. to not allow the provincial government to override council decisions. So far, Summerland council and North Vancouver council have come out in support.

READ MORE: Summerland offers supports to Penticton in dispute with province

Other no go zones proposed are near Okanagan and Skaha beach, Gyro Park, the Rose Garden, the 100 to 700 block of Main Street, the 100 to 300 blocks of Martin Street and more.

Victory Church’s location is not in the no-go zone.

A special Safety and Security Advisory Committee meeting was held Monday, April 19 to discuss the shelter guidelines.

READ ALSO: BC Housing peppered with questions about Skaha housing project

READ MORE: Special meeting to talk about no-go zones for shelters

Just Posted

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

The administrative headquarters for the Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home

Farming Karma is set to release a line of fruit vodka sodas soon. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

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

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

“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 B.C. 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

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby closes Highway 97A both ways

A witness shared images of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

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

Most Read