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

A petition was launched urging the District of Coldstream to consider adding a sidewalk to Aberdeen Road Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Google Maps)
Aberdeen Road needs a sidewalk, says Coldstream resident

The district ran into a steep price tag and lack of land availability the last time they looked into the idea

Vernon resident David Melanson, 21, left the South Hills Tertiary Psychiatric Centre in Brocklehurst at about 1 a.m. on May 12, the day he was reported missing. (Contributed)
Body of missing Vernon man found in Kamloops Lake

David Melanson, 21, left psychiatric centre around 1 a.m. the day he was reported missing

Canadian author Paul Young, who wrote the critically acclaimed novel, the Shack, will join Vernon-based foundation, the Emily Dahl Foundation, for a Fireside Chat event in June 2021. (YouTube)
Acclaimed author to talk mental health at Vernon event

Paul Young, author of bestselling book The Shack, to join Emily Dahl Foundation for Fireside Chat June 8

Vernon-based artist Patricia Neil Lawton is offering a cash reward to the person who can find her missing painting. (Contributed)
Vernon artist offers cash reward for missing painting

Artist Patricia Neil Lawton missing portrait of Billy Muir after downsizing

Shane Ertmoed (right) is serving a life sentence for killing 10-year-old Heather Thomas on Oct. 1, 2000. (File photos)
Child-killer from Vernon an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vikki and Don Holmberg with their three children Marshall, Ava and oldest Lexi who now lives on her own. The Penticton family is facing the prospect of homelessness after their rental home was sold, leading them to ask the community for help. (Contributed)
‘There’s just nothing’: housing crunch puts Okanagan family on the brink of homelessness

Housing crisis something many in the Okanagan can likely relate to, says mother of three

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

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Most Read