An approximation of the supportive housing project BC Housing has proposed to construct at 3235 Cougar Road

52 supportive homes proposed on Westbank First Nation land

A virtual information session on the BC Housing project is scheduled for Oct. 1

A proposed supportive housing project in Westbank is moving forward, with public consultations to come.

The BC Housing project would see 52 new homes constructed at 3235 Cougar Road on Westbank First Nation (WFN) land, equipped with supports for people experiencing homelessness.

A rezoning application submitted to WFN has passed first reading, paving the way for a public feedback process, BC Housing announced Saturday, Sept. 12.

An online information session for neighbours and community members to learn more about the project and provide feedback is set for Oct. 1 at 6 p.m.

“Housing is the foundation on which people build their lives, and the importance of safe, secure housing has never been clearer,” said Selina Robinson, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “We’re working in partnership with First Nations and local governments across the province to build much-needed new supportive housing, because we know it works. When people without homes are provided a place to call their own with the supports they need to succeed, everyone in the community benefits.”

If the proposed project is carried out, Turning Points Collaborative Society (TPCS) would operate the building with staff on site around the clock, providing supports including meal programs, life and employment skills training and health and wellness services.

“This is the start of something very special,” said Randene Wejr, TPCS executive director.

If the rezoning application is approval this fall, BC Housing says it will provide budget estimates, with funding coming from the province’s Supportive Housing Fund.

A 2018 Point-In-Time Homeless Count found 72 people experiencing homelessness in the Westside.

The province has also partnered with WFN to create 17 affordable rental homes throughout the community.

Local modular-home builder Freeport Industries has been selected to lead the construction of the project.

READ MORE: Vernon temporary homeless shelter moves to warehouse off 25th Avenue

READ MORE: Fatal overdoses continue to spike in B.C. as July sees 175 illicit drug deaths


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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