Airport Inn residents begin to vacate with help from district

Council voted to shut down the motel on Aug. 20 after much consideration

The residents of Airport Inn have begun to pick-up and leave with the help of the District of Lake Country.

On Aug. 20. Lake Country council ordered the motel of 20 years to be shut down in 45 days, with all residents gone and the building boarded up with a fence around the perimeter.

In an effort to extend the date of closure, Airport Inn owner Raif Flehan’s lawyer asked council to delay the remedial action to ensure tenants could find appropriate housing. On Tuesday, Oct. 1 council decided to uphold remedial action, giving the tenants until Oct. 7 to begin leaving due to safety violations and the lack of an occupancy permit.

As of Monday agencies such as BC Housing, Interior Health, lake Country Health Planning and many others have been working to assess the needs of the people still residing at the Inn.

READ MORE: Airport Inn residents have four more days to get out

“It’s going to be a slower process in the sense that we need to ensure that the folks living in there (Airport Inn) are taken care of,” said Ruth Sulentich, District of Lake Country communications and public engagement specialist.

“BC housing is taking the lead in finding them new accommodations based on what their requirements are. Once that is done we are going to start working with our building inspectors and RCMP to do a sweep of the building. Once all residents are vacated that’s when you will start to see it boarded up.”

Last week the district said it considered the immediate housing needs of the privately-owned Airport Inn residents as a serious emergency. The district said it had major concerns about where the residents were going to stay due to a lack of supportive housing and necessary services in Lake Country.

Since then, Lake Country Health Planning has found new accommodations for 15 people with most being able to stay in the community.

“We want to ensure our community folks are taken care of,” said Sultentich. “Agencies such as BC Housing and Interior health are coming together to ensure people are safe and that they’ve found suitable accommodations. That’s the process we are going through right now.”

READ MORE: Portions of West Kelowna under water quality advisory – again


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