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Call for UBC Properties Trust to cease downtown Kelowna construction

Pathways Abilities Society said UBC Properties Trust representatives toured the damage in November

Pathways Abilities Society says it has always worked hard to accommodate any requests to access Hadgraft Wilson Place.

The affordable-living apartment building was ordered to evacuate on March 30 after ground shifting from neighbouring construction caused cracks in the structure.

The construction is for that of UBC Okanagan’s downtown Kelowna campus. UBCO and UBC Properties Trust have not accepted any responsibility for the damage but told Black Press Media in an email on Monday, April 29 that they have requested access to Hadgraft Wilson Place through BC Housing to complete an assessment on necessary building repairs.

BC Housing told Black Press Media the building belongs to Pathways and it is at the society’s discretion to allow for access to the building. In an email statement, BC Housing stated, “BC Housing has been supporting Pathways Abilities Society prior to and following the evacuation order issued by the city’s fire chief on March 30. Geotechnical and structural engineering consultants are all retained by Pathways. As such, disclosing the geotechnical reports on Hadgraft Wilson Place is at their discretion. Pathways have informed us that they have accommodated all requests the UBC Trust has made to access the building, including tours of the damages, and will continue to accommodate requests.”

Pathways’ executive director Charisse Daley confirmed the information.

“Anytime they’re ever asked for access we have given it to them. We took them through in November identifying the damage,” Daley said of UBC Properties Trust.

To allow UBC Properties Trust access to Hadgraft Wilson Place, Daley said they just need enough time to give the tenants proper notice of landlord entry into the unit as per the residential tenancy laws.

“We’ve been reaching out to [UBC Properties Trust] for months about the damage.”

Since the evacuation, Hadgraft Wilson Place residents have been living in various hotels scattered throughout Kelowna. With help from the city, Pathways has secured dorms at Okanagan College for the residents of Hadgraft Wilson Place to stay temporarily until Aug. 15. Plans are still being finalized, but the tenants are expected to move in the coming days.

“We are absolutely grateful. It gives the tenants some stability for the next few months,” Daley said, adding that the residents are excited to all be together again.

READ MORE: Evacuated residents of limited income apartment moved to Okanagan College

Daley said the whole ordeal is beyond frustrating. She commented that the Hadgraft Wilson Place project cost about $20 million to complete and residents only moved into the building in May 2023, and less than a year later the building has become inhabitable.

Pathways Abilities Society is calling on UBC Properties Trust to stop all construction of the downtown campus until Hadgraft Wilson Place residents are safely back at home. Daley said at that time UBC Properties Trust should “reassess the plans and make sure that any further construction doesn’t cause damage to this building.”

UBC Properties Trust has not responded to any emails from Black Press. UBC Okanagan was unable to meet deadlines for publication. The story will be updated as necessary.

READ MORE: UBCO requests access for assessment of evacuated Kelowna apartments

Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

I am a video journalist based in Kelowna and capturing life in the Okanagan
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