Rendition of proposed design for modular temporary rental housing building to accommodate homeless people proposed for Commerce Avenue in Kelowna. Photo: City of Kelowna

Rendition of proposed design for modular temporary rental housing building to accommodate homeless people proposed for Commerce Avenue in Kelowna. Photo: City of Kelowna

Kelowna social housing project revised

BC Housing tries to mitigate neighbouring concerns

Changes have been made to a proposed 46-unit supportive housing project on Commerce Avenue in Kelowna.

The initial application by BC Housing to build the temporary facility, operated by the John Howard Society, to provide affordable housing and support services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless was met with opposition from neighbouring business and building owners.

But in development permit application coming before Kelowna city council on Monday, the planning department notes the original landscape and building design has undergone changes to help mitigate those concerns.

Among those changes are employing a modular form of construction rather than trailers relocated from other sites and landscaping alterations to the original concept to enhance security and fit in better with the adjacent light industrial and commercial land uses.

Recent: Businesses request delay in housing project for homeless

The proposed 2,157 square-metre project will consist of 46 temporary studio units, able to be relocated when the land lease for four years with an option to extend a further three years expires.

The studio rooms provide a sitting area and private bathrooms. Support services located on the ground floor fronting the 1642 Commerce Ave. site include a 44-seat dining facility, medical services room, commercial kitchen, lounge, washrooms, laundry and offices.

Outside of the three-storey amenity building, a gathering area will provide recreational space for residents while a secure storage area will be included for personal possessions and bicycles.

The property will be surrounded by a fence and a video surveillance system will be place to monitor access to and from the facility.

A key aspect of the location is the housing project will have anywhere from 75 to 100 residents and staff will be within a 400-metre walking distance to transit stops.

It is intended to offer a temporary housing solution while permanent affordable housing projects can be developed.

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@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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