—Image: Google Maps The planned site for a new supportive housing complex in the Rutland area of Kelowna will be at the corner of McIntosh Road and Asher Road.

Newly announced supportive housing will allow drug use on-site

Ministry of Municipal Affairs confirms latest project will also be a harm reduction facility

A planned new supportive housing facility slated for a residential area in the Rutland neighbourhood of Kelowna will allow drug use on-site.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has confirmed the facility will be what is known as a “harm reduction” site.

“Yes, residents are allowed to make their own choices and this may include substance use,” said a Ministry of ministry spokeswoman in an email response to question from the Capital News.

The planned 50-unit facility on McIntosh Road was announced last week, a day after a packed public hearing to rezone land for another controversial supportive housing project slated for Kelowna that will also allow drug use on-site.

That project is slated for Agassiz Road and residents living in that area have protested plans for the project saying they fear for their safety if the project goes ahead, fear drug dealers will move into the area and fear their property values will fall.

At the public hearing, 34 of the 66 speakers who addressed council opposed plans for the Agassiz Road project, all citing the fact the site is in the middle of residential area. Most pointed to the fact drugs will be allowed to be consumed on site as their major reason for their concerns.

The housing, both on Agassiz Road and McIntosh Road will be for people who are currently homeless in the city, some of whom the ministry and B.C. Housing say may be drug addicts.

RELATED: More supportive housing announced for Kelowna

Both the ministry and B.C. Housing say because the units in the building will be the tenants’ homes, the tenants should be allowed to do what anyone else in the community can do in their own homes, including use drugs.

But it says there will be supervision and medical staff on hand in the building to monitor any drug use.

“Our supportive housing is based on the housing first model, meaning that tenants are not required to enter a treatment program in order to receive housing,” said the email from the ministry about the McIntosh Road project.

“Once tenants are safely housed, they have access to the supports they need and connection to treatment programs should they choose. Housing first is a proven model that allows people to stabilize their lives in order to transition to more permanent housing.”

It goes on to say residents of supportive housing live independently and will make their own choices regarding lifestyle, but will be encouraged to consider more healthy options.

“BC Housing does not discriminate against a person based on their level of need. Some people with substance use issues will be housed at the site, however, residents will be carefully chosen to ensure they are matched with the right level of services they need to live a more healthy, stable life.”

Requests for information about how B.C. Housing plans to address public concerns about how the McIntosh Road facility will operate in light of the concerns expressed by the Agassiz Road residents have yet to be responded to.

At the public hearing, Agassiz Road residents claimed they were not told initially that the planned supportive housing there would allow dug use.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Truck fire knocked down on Highway 97

The blaze has been knocked down by fire crews

More showings of controversial movie Unplanned scheduled in West Kelowna

One of the additional shows sold out in three minutes at the Landmark Xtreme

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Single vehicle roll over in West Kelowna sends one to hospital

One person sent to hospital with non life-threatening injuries

Rockets’ Thomson signs entry-level contract with Ottawa Senators

The defenceman was taken 19th overall by Ottawa in June’s NHL Entry Draft

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read