The province is providing $6 million to help provide additional housing and support for individuals who have been homeless, or who are at risk of homelessness, in Kelowna.
The money will go towards the purchase and renovation of the Kelowna Good Night Inn, located at 2639 Highway 97 North.
Once renovated, the 42-unit building will support some of the area’s most vulnerable citizens, and will include some capacity to add shelter spaces during extreme weather conditions.
The former motel will be operated by the Kelowna branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, which will provide support services to create successful tenancies for the residents.
“We know that when people have a roof over their head, they actually have a chance to improve their quality of life in areas of health, mental health, substance use and employment,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director of the Kelowna branch of the CMHA.
“Our goal is to offer services, supports and connections that will maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness. We are excited by this opportunity to add more housing and support options in our community.”
CMHA staff will be on-site round the clock at the facility once it is up and running to manage the day-to-day operations and assist residents as needed.
The renovations will include updating the exterior of the building to improve the residential look and feel, creating indoor gathering areas for residents, and providing appropriate fencing and landscaping around the property.
The building project is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2018.
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran aid the city is committed to helping all residents of Kelowna, and that includes people who are having a hard time and need a helping hand.
“We have seen this same development model be very successful in Kelowna and we appreciate the province stepping up again to create more of this kind of housing in our community.”
Municipal affairs and housing minister, Selina Robinson, said the province is committed to addressing the lack of affordable housing in B.C. and recognizes the urgent need for more permanent affordable rental housing in Kelowna.
“We are currently working with the city to provide support to some of the most vulnerable people in the area,” she said. “The province is very supportive of this housing project because it will allow us to create a safe place for the people who need it most.”