An artist’s rendition of the proposed Freedom House at Rutland Road and McCurdy Road in Kelowna. (contributed)

MLA urges a ‘pause’ to controversial Rutland supportive housing project

City of Kelowna council to discuss McCurdy project’s development permit on Monday

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick is calling on B.C.’s municipal affairs and housing minister to “pause” a new supportive housing project slated for McCurdy Road in the Rutland area of Kelowna.

“The people of Rutland are very generous and caring and have done more than their fair share when it comes to housing the hardest to house,” Letnick said in a statement.

“However, since the opening of the Heath House and Hearthstone facilities, I, as the local MLA, have heard from many residents that they are feeling overwhelmed by the increased number of people openly using drugs, exposure to used needles and a general sense of feeling unsafe in their own neighbourhood.”

City of Kelowna councillors are to discuss the supportive housing unit at Rutland Road and McCurdy Road this Monday during their regular council meeting. Staff has recommended council authorize the development permit pending it meets the necessary regulations.

READ MORE: Controversial supportive housing proposal approved in Kelowna

The four-storey, 49-unit supportive housing facility was approved in September 2017.

Letnick, a long-time volunteer and supporter of housing initiatives said more work is required between the province, community partners and housing projects to “demonstrate they can house people actively taking drugs without adversely impact their surrounding neighbourhood.”

“Currently that is not the case,” he said.

“I am asking you to pause this new supportive housing project until the issues surrounding the existing Rutland projects are resolved to their neighbourhood’s satisfaction or alternatively create housing which has a better chance of meeting with community support,” he said in the open letter to Housing Minister Selina Robinson.

READ MORE: Addiction treatment society look to manage new BC Housing facility in Kelowna

Just Posted

Rockets rookie camp concludes with praise from management

150 prospects demonstrated their skills over last week’s camp

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Westbank, Kelowna

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Hot start not enough for West Kelowna in 2-1 pre-season loss

The Warriors dropped game two of the pre-season to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks

‘Significant number’ of Kelowna rentals over 40 years old: report

From 2011 to 2016, 73 per cent of new households in Kelowna were rentals, according to the city

Fire in Kelowna apartment started in garbage can

The apartment was evacuated for a 4th-floor fire

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read