Penticton’s Burdock House supportive housing on Winnipeg St. is one of the B.C. Housing buildings the City of Penticton wants audited. (File photo)

Penticton’s Burdock House supportive housing on Winnipeg St. is one of the B.C. Housing buildings the City of Penticton wants audited. (File photo)

City of Penticton seeks audit of BC Housing supportive housing units

BC Housing recently announced plans to construct a new supportive housing unit in the city

City council has voted in favour of requesting a third-party audit be done on three of B.C. Housing’s existing supportive housing facilities in Penticton.

The purpose of the audit would be to to determine if sufficient actions have been taken to support those in need and what the impact of the housing units has been on the community. Councillors voted in favour of requesting the audit today (Jan. 26) in a special council meeting.

The city would like to see the audit completed before BC Housing applies for any new development permits in the city. BC Housing recently announced plans to build a new 54 unit supportive housing project at 3240 Skaha Lake Road. The project, which would house those experiencing homelessness, would be modelled after the existing supportive housing facility Burdock House on Winnipeg Street.

Burdock House, Compass House, and Fairhaven Supportive Housing are the three facilities the city would like to see audited.

READ MORE: Province announces Skaha supportive housing project

Council voted unanimously in favour of requesting the audit, citing the current lack of information on the impact to the community and effectiveness of BC Housing’s current supportive housing units.

Council recently asked for a housing needs assessment from BC Housing but has not yet received it.

Coun. Judy Sentes said it’s important that the city takes into consideration the needs and impacts of everyone in the community, including seniors and the “working poor” who are often overlooked by BC Housing.

“I recognize the authority BC Housing has but they’re not absolute.” Sentes said. “I feel strongly that they’re taking advantage of our community.

“Some of these agencies like BC Housing have tunnel vision… we need to take all of the needs of all our citizens into account before a decision like this can be made.”

Sentes also noted that she would like to explore options for “early intervention and specific mental health help” instead of constructing more housing units with “no support.”

Coun. Katie Robinson claimed the impacts of the current supportive housing have been vast, including causing local businesses to shutter.

Council, alongside Penticton MLA Dan Ashton, will attend a meeting via Zoom today with BC Housing minister David Eby at 4 p.m. to further discuss their desire for an audit. The topic is also on the agenda for the next regular council meeting Wednesday, Feb. 3.

“Stay tuned and we’ll bring information forward as we get it,” mayor John Vassilaki said to the public.

READ MORE: Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new homeless housing



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Homelessness

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

Just Posted

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow is closing its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
Petition to save South Okanagan’s only midwife clinic nears 3,000 signatures

After 12 years, Willow Community Midwives has to close its doors due to a shortage of midwives

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society released a video on Feb. 22, 2021 promoting agriculture and food production in Salmon Arm and the Shuswap. (SAEDS image)
New video promotes Salmon Arm staples of agriculture, food production

Three-minute video from economic development featuring local producers receives appreciative reviews

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A puppy stolen from a West Kelowna residence has been reunited with its family. (Kelowna RCMP)
Stolen puppy reunited with Central Okanagan owners

A happy ending; puppy stolen from West Kelowna vehicle found in Kelowna, returned to family

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Veteran Vernon radio announcer Frank Martina is returning to the local airwaves with his popular Saturday Classics show, which will run from 1-4 p.m. on Vernon’s new community station Valley FM, set to launch in the fall of 2021. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon radio announcer returning to airwaves

New community station Valley FM reaches deal with Frank Martina to air his Classics show

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Most Read