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

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)
Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read