Four motels have been purchased by BC Housing along Skaha Lake Road which will eventually be built into low-income housing. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Couple of years out for Penticton motels to be redeveloped into low-income housing

BC Housing is starting engagement stage seeking input from tenants and neighbours

Penticton city council is eager to see work get underway to convert four motels along Skaha Lake Road into low-income housing.

But council will have to wait a couple of years before that happens, said BC Housing’s Joanna Tung, who was in front of council Tuesday to tell them about what their next steps are.

“When do you envision people moving in?” asked coun. Judy Sentes.

“It’s a large parcel of land. It is five acres combined. We anticipate we will build out in phases but completion is several years out,” said Tung. “There are currently 103 units and our goal is to minimize any impact to the tenants currently living there and have them stay on site as long as possible.”

In May 2021, the province, through BC Housing, purchased three motels along Skaha Lake Road (and had already purchased Skaha Sunrise) with the goal of redeveloping those properties is to provide affordable rentals for singles, families, workforce, seniors, and persons with disabilities living in the Penticton area.

The province invested approximately $7.9 million for the purchase of the three motels which were built sometime in the 1960s:

* Meadow Lark Motel at 2730 Skaha Lake Rd.;

* Sun Valley Motel at 2784 Skaha Lake Rd.;

* Mayfair Motel at 2824 Skaha Lake Rd.;

Tung told council that they are currently in the feasibility and visioning stage and after Easter, they will be seeking feedback from tenants and will also be engaging neighbours of the site.

BC Housing has taken over all tenancy rental agreements.

“I think that there is a level of urgency to find suitable housing for the current tenants because from the feedback that I’ve got from various service providers is that the conditions in some of those units are not ideal,” said coun. Julius Bloomfield.

While still in its early stages, BC Housing said it hopes to increase density above replacing each unit one-for-one but that will come later.

Council said they look forward to this much-needed housing.

“The sooner the better because we need that type of housing here,” said mayor John Vassilaki.

READ MORE: BC Housing redevelopment of Penticton motels on the agenda

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