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Kelowna to build tiny homes on Crowley for people experiencing homelessness

The 60-unit project is expected to open in early 2024
(Photo by Morf Morford)

A city-owned property will soon be turned into a temporary new tiny-home development for people previously experiencing homelessness.

This comes after an announcement from the province, on Oct. 12, that BC Housing will build 120 housing units over the coming months to support people who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness and sheltering in encampments.

On Nov.1, the city was already preparing 759 Crowley Avenue for what will be the site of 60 new temporary homes.

These units will be funded through the provincial government’s new Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH) program.

They are intended as a temporary housing solution while the city and BC Housing work to identify new permanent supportive housing.

Kelowna is the first location in the Interior to use a tiny-home solution, which features small single-room units (60 square feet) that are quick to build and easy to install.

“As part of our Belonging in BC plan, this site (759 Crowley Avenue) will provide interim housing options for people experiencing homelessness in the community, while more permanent options are being considered,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing.

Construction has begun on Crowley and the units are expected to be ready in early 2024.

Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas said the city wants to open the spaces as soon as possible.

“This addresses housing gaps, helps people transition to safe, dignified shelter and ultimately reduces the number of individuals sheltering outside.”

Once built the units will be operated by non-profit groups that will provide support services such as daily meals, 24/7 staffing, access to skills training, and support navigating the housing system.

In addition to the HEARTH program, the Province and the City are partnering to implement Homeless Encampment Action Response Teams (HEART).

The HEART program will include all levels of government, Indigenous partners, health-care agencies and non-profit organizations to assess the needs of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Individuals moving into the new homes will be assessed and matched with appropriate support, according to the

Through BC Housing, the province is providing $5.4 million for the new HEARTH program, as well as an annual operating funding of approximately $2.7 million.

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Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

A video journalist with Black Press Media. I recently made the exciting move from my radio anchor position at AM 1150 to this new venture.
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