Letter: Kelowna healthy housing strategy falls behind timeline

“The first challenge to the strategy came with a development application for the Brooklyn.”

To the editor:

Renters and prospective homebuyers in Kelowna should be happy the Healthy Housing Strategy was approved last summer. It’s a beautiful piece of planning work that involves, not least, supporting rental housing and improving affordability for market housing.

The first challenge to the strategy came with a development application for the Brooklyn, a 178-unit downtown condo building that’s been promoted as having short-term rentals and marketed to foreign buyers. Instead of showing some backbone and rejecting a development that exacerbates the housing crisis, council caved to the developer and approved it.

The second challenge came with the strategy’s implementation schedule. It’s falling behind. As of last month, six out of seven strategic actions scheduled for 2018 had seen no movement whatsoever. Ten more await implementation in 2019 and two in 2020.

During the October election campaign, Renters United Kelowna posed a survey question to all candidates. The question came with its own preamble:

The Healthy Housing Strategy is an ambitious five-year plan to address the community’s most pressing housing issues. Would you support the creation of a backbone organization to implement the Healthy Housing Strategy such as the one created for the Journey Home Strategy?

Residents might recall that the Journey Home Strategy clearly states that the Journey Home Task Force and the City of Kelowna are responsible for setting up a backbone organization to lead implementation on this difficult file.

Renters United was pleased to learn that the creation of a backbone organization to implement the Healthy Housing Strategy seemed like a good idea to many of the candidates. Fifteen out of 21 of them answered yes to the survey question, including six who were elected.

But since the election, Luke Stack has said he can’t remember committing to establishing or considering establishing a backbone organization to implement the Healthy Housing Strategy. He’s said he has no intention of supporting one.

Maxine DeHart and Charlie Hodge so far have not answered the question Renters United has asked them several times, and now asks all of the candidates who said yes to a backbone organization during the election:

Will Maxine DeHart, Charlie Hodge, Loyal Wooldridge, Gail Given, and Mohini Singh follow through on their election pledge to support the creation of a backbone organization to implement the Healthy Housing Strategy?

Dianne Varga

Renters United Kelowna

Just Posted

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read