This is the Shielings Motel in its heyday in the 1950s when it offered mini log cabins for vacationers coming to Penticton. (Penticton Museum and Archives)

This is the Shielings Motel in its heyday in the 1950s when it offered mini log cabins for vacationers coming to Penticton. (Penticton Museum and Archives)

Affordable seniors housing coming to Shielings Motel site in Penticton

The city hopes to turn a portion of the site into affordable housing

Affordable seniors housing could be coming to the old Shielings Motel site, according to the city of Penticton.

The building will be a mix of below average rent levels for seniors, with half the units paying a maximum of a certain percentage of their income to rent.

The city purchased the land, located on the corner of South Main Street and Galt Avenue, in 2020 to make infrastructure improvements, mainly to build a round-about to alleviate long-running congestion issues between South Main Street and Skaha Lake Road.

“As the design for the round-about became more certain, it was anticipated that there would be remaining lands at that location,” said Blake Laven, city director of development services.

“As the city has done in the past, it worked with community partners to see if there was a need for additional non-market housing. The Brain Injury Society identified a need in Penticton for additional seniors rental housing that charged below market rents,” he said.

There were tenants living in the motel when the city took control of the property. The city worked with partners such as the Brain Injury Society and BC Housing to ensure that all tenants were successfully and fully transitioned to different housing options.

Council directed staff to work with the Brain Injury Society on using the land to apply for provincial grants to build housing on the unused lands, specifically for seniors rental housing that is below market rents.

New housing for seniors is also supported by the city’s Age Friendly Action Plan, said Laven.

Here’s a breakdown of how rent could look like for the seniors housing:

o About one-third of the units would be at 30 per cent below the average market rental rate in Penticton

o About half the units would be seniors paying a maximum of a certain percentage of their income towards rent

o The remaining units would be for very low-income seniors with a maximum income of approximately $18,000

The next step is for the province to make its decision about funding the development, he said.

The Shieling Motel was built in the 1950s, offering vacationers mini log cabins in the heart of Penticton.

The old Shielings Motel is being demolished for an eventual roundabout to reduce congestion between Skaha Lake Road and South Main Street. The city is also hoping to have affordable seniors housing there too. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)

READ MORE: Demolition begins on old Shielings Motel