The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Summerland’s municipal council has chosen not to apply for grant funding to turn a municipally-owned building into temporary transitional housing.

The proposal grant application, through the 2021 Union of B.C. Municipalities Strengthening Communities Services grant program, was to complete renovations of the former SADI building at 9117 Prairie Valley Road. Up to $450,000 is available through the funding program.

Since 2019, the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre has expressed interest in leasing the building to provide transitional housing in the community. The building is owned by the municipality of Summerland.

A proposal from the centre to the municipality suggested setting up short-term hostel-like accommodations with a shared office for social workers, mental health workers and other support services.

READ ALSO: Summerland woman living in decrepit trailer searching for a new place to live

READ ALSO: Summerland youth organization closing

“We also believe our community donors would rally around a project like this and we have enough reserve funds to act quickly while working on longer-term operational funding models,” a 2019 letter from the centre stated.

In March, 2021, a study from the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre indicated there were seven self-identified homeless people in Summerland and another 18 at risk of homelessness, including six women and five children.

The proposal for the building would include single-occupancy rooms and two units for families at risk of homelessness.

The units would provide a short-term housing option for people in need, until they could find an alternative long-term housing solution, Brad Dollevoet, director of development services, said in a report to council.

At the time, the organization was told the building would require significant upgrades and was being targeted for demolition. However, the grant program could pay for renovation work at the building, Janet Peake, president of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre Society said in a March 30 letter to municipal council.

“We are requesting council’s support to explore the cost of renovations and equipping the former SADI building to meet our still-remaining need for temporary transitional housing,” the letter said.

The building was originally constructed as the Summerland electrical substation. Later, it had been used as the Summerland Asset Development Initiative’s Unity Youth Centre. When the centre closed its doors in the fall of 2019, there were issues with the building, including roof leaks, non-functioning roof gutters, insect activity and more.

In January, 2020, the municipality included $80,000 in the five-year capital plan to proceed with the demolition or renovation of the building in 2022.

An estimate for the cost of fixing up the building comes in at $510,000. These estimates do not include additional costs to create suitable rooms, or upgrades to kitchen or bathroom facilities.

While members of Summerland council were in support of the idea of providing a temporary transitional housing facility, they had concerns about the condition of the existing building and the short timeline, since the deadline for submissions is April 16.

Coun. Marty Van Alphen said council has not yet discussed the idea of providing housing of this nature.

He added that he had questions about the wisdom of investing money in the building, since concerns have earlier been raised about the condition of this building.

Coun. Erin Carlson also questioned the wisdom of fixing up the building, since it has been slated for demolition in the past. She suggested using trailers, similar to those used for housing temporary agricultural workers.

Carlson added that council must consider the services available in Summerland before investing in temporary housing.

“We aren’t able to do what they do in Kelowna,” she said.

Van Alphen said he would like to see a community discussion about a housing facility before proceeding.

“I think we need a long-term solution that’s done right,” added Coun. Doug Holmes.

The motion to not apply for the grant funding received unanimous council support.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

homeless housingMunicipal GovernmentPoverty

Just Posted

The wildfire season in the Okanagan Valley region has been approached with greater apprehension and concern from area residents since the historic Okanagan Mountain Park fire in 2003. That fire burned 25,600 hectares, forced evacuations in Kelowna and Naramata impacting more than 33,000 people, destroyed 238 homes, and claimed 12 wooden trestles and damaged two other steel trestles in Myra Canyon. (File photo)
Ominous wildfire outlook if June rains don’t return to Okanagan

Dry spring is fueling potential for busy wildfire season in July and August

Joe Rich residents want logging operations in the area to stop for now until they get more clarity on slope stability and risks to the Mission Creek watershed. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Joe Rich logging poses watershed risk: residents

Area residents want the logging to stop in the area for the time being

Kelowna Law Courts. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Former Vernon teacher found guilty of historic sex crimes against minors

Anoop Singh Klair was found guilty of all eight charges against him in a Kelowna courtroom on Friday

An algal bloom on Wood Lake has residents concerned for the body of water's health. (Wendy Innes-Shaw)
‘Wood Lake looks seriously unwell’: Lake Country residents

Algal bloom appears to be getting worse, and stinky

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

The real estate market is hot in Vernon, and across the Okanagan. (John Dent photo)
North Okanagan home prices, demand continue to build

Single family home volumes up 200 per cent, worth average $647,000

A wildfire southeast of Vernon has been added to the BC Wildfire dashboard Friday, May 14, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire sparks southeast of Vernon

The fire appears to be in a remote area east of Aberdeen Lake

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Most Read