BC Housing opened a 62-unit housing project for Penticton residents experiencing or at risk of homelessness on Thursday.
The project, called Burdock House at 594 Winnipeg St., is a newly-completed four-storey modular building featuring 62 studio units, including four accessible units.
Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building also includes communal space for counselling and community meetings, a multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and dining room, as well as outdoor amenities including a gazebo, bike and cart storage, and a pet-friendly running area.
“These new permanent homes with wraparound supports will help people heal from the experience of being homeless and give them a stable foundation on which to build a better life,” Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said in a release.
“Our government is proud to work with partners to provide people experiencing homelessness with the opportunity to move off the streets and into safe and secure homes.”
ASK Wellness Society, an experienced non-profit housing operator, will operate Burdock House, and provide residents with 24/7 on-site staff and support services. These include meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.
“Sixty-two people who have lived without housing will now have a safe, supportive and affordable home to begin the journey to reclaim their health and connection to community,” said Bob Hughes, executive director with ASK Wellness Society.
“Penticton has waited years for this type of housing and we are proud to work with our community partners to make this project a tremendous success through support, clinical services and old-fashioned care and compassion.”
Mayor John Vassilaki said the city is delighted to see the long-discussed and highly anticipated housing project completed.
“Access to supportive housing for those in need supports council’s priority of building a safe, secure and healthy community,” Vassilaki said.
“The opening of Burdock House, combined with the amenities, services and staff resources it provides its residents, will go a long way in providing a quality solution to Penticton’s housing challenge.”
Penticton’s own Metric Modular was selected by the province to manufacture the modular units for Burdock House and several other modular projects in B.C.
The name Burdock House was chosen by ASK Wellness Society to represent the native plant that grows in the area.
Residents experiencing homelessness in the Penticton area started moving in at the end of September and the building will be fully occupied later this month.
BC Housing was busy making announcements about several housing projects this week, including Burdock House as well as another opening later on Thursday afternoon, of new affordable rental homes for seniors in Okanagan Falls.
Robinson was also expected to celebrate housing projects in Oliver and Grand Forks on Friday.
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