Carli Berry/Capital News                                A man adjusts his toque in the rain outside of the Gospel Mission.

Carli Berry/Capital News A man adjusts his toque in the rain outside of the Gospel Mission.

Homeless housing complex to be built in Kelowna

Plans for a homeless housing complex to be built in Kelowna away from the downtown are underway

Plans to house some of Kelowna’s homeless population are taking shape.

BC Housing is expected to enter an agreement with the owner of a property at 1642 Commerce Avenue, that would allow them to create a new homeless housing complex. It would be located in an industrial area near the corner of Commerce and Enterprise Way.

Although a representative from the Crown Corporation said that a deal with the landowner has yet to be finalized, Kelowna City Hall is aware of the project and Mayor Colin Basran said it’s believed that the matter will be before council Dec. 11.

It’s a completely province-funded initiative and the only thing city council will get to weigh in on is the form and character of the building proposed.

It may be one of the first purpose-built housing projects in what’s otherwise an industrial area, and that sounds good to Basran.

“There are a number of services around the city and it would be our preference to see more housing projects dispersed around the city,” he said, noting that concentrating all social housing in the downtown core isn’t the best way to meet the city’s needs.

“Social issues, particularly homelessness and housing, are the most pressing issue that residents are speaking to council about,” said Basran. “So we are happy BC Housing is making this investment. We know we need this housing to help people off our streets.”

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