A Vernon councillor has put out a notice of motion requesting an audit of all BC Housing projects in the city. Council will review at its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (BC Housing photo)

A Vernon councillor has put out a notice of motion requesting an audit of all BC Housing projects in the city. Council will review at its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (BC Housing photo)

Vernon councillor calls for audit of city’s supportive housing projects

The city’s largest supportive housing non-profit opposes the audit, which would temporarily suspend all projects

A Vernon councillor is calling for a review and temporary suspension of local supportive housing projects, putting him at odds with the city’s leading supportive housing organization.

In a notice of motion, Coun. Scott Anderson plans to request council to support a City of Penticton motion, which calls for an independent audit of BC Housing-funded projects.

Specifically, the motion requested that the province hire a third party to audit one specific Penticton BC Housing project to see if “sufficient actions had been taken to support those in need of housing and what the impact of these housing projects have been on the community,” as reads the notice of motion in the city’s agenda for council Monday (Feb. 22).

The motion also requests that BC Housing not apply for a development at 3240 Skaha Lake Road until the audit is completed and made public, and that an audit of the city’s entire BC Housing stock be done.

READ MORE: Penticton wants to prioritize local homeless over ‘transients’

Stipulations for the audit include that it use an independent third party to find which psychiatric services are currently offered at Vernon supportive housing locations, if any, as well as wait times to access them. The audit would need to provide an impact assessment for surrounding areas, and a “measurable account of outcomes of patients in the existing projects.”

In response to the notice of motion, Turning Points Collaborative Society took to Facebook to voice its opposition. Vernon’s largest organization for supportive housing and outreach services, Turning Points responded to Coun. Anderson’s motion with a call to arms.

“We believe that this motion would do nothing more than cause disruption in our community’s strong relationship with BC Housing, create a distraction for city staff and elected officials, cost the province an enormous amount of money, and potentially put vulnerable lives at risk,” the society’s Feb. 19 post states.

Turning Points further argues the audit will impose unnecessary hurdles for a service that has recently shown positive results at the expense of provincial taxpayers.

“We all know how effective and transformative My Place supportive housing is for residents, and that the access to services provided there has changed many lives. We also know that in the past several years, homelessness and crime in our city is down, and that access to housing has been the key contributor,” the post reads.

“Homelessness on our streets is down. Crime on our streets is down. Why question something that is working so well?”

The motion will be decided on at council’s Monday (Feb. 22) regular meeting.

In the meantime, Turning Points urged the public to review the motion on the City of Vernon council agenda web portal, and to contact city councillors to give them their thoughts.

READ MORE: Highway 97A closed south of Enderby

affordable housingBC Housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Christina Camilleri: Making holistic health care accessible

Christina Camilleri founded and operates Healthy Essentials Clinic

(City of Kelowna)
Kelowna staff caution against 1,200-home proposal in Upper Mission

Staff say project is at odds with city policy, compromises transportation system, more

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

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

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Most Read