Responding to the need for more supportive housing in Kelowna, a new project in Rutland will provide safe and secure homes for people experiencing homelessness, as well as young people who are struggling to find suitable housing.
“Through strong partnerships, we are starting to make progress with more than 230 supportive homes completed or underway in Kelowna,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We know there’s more work to do. People experiencing homelessness deserve the opportunity to build a better life and we will continue to address the need for supportive housing here and in communities throughout the province.”
To be located at 130 McCurdy Rd., BC Housing has an agreement to buy 49 housing units from Culos Development Group. Responding to a recommendation made through the City of Kelowna’s Journey Home Strategy, a portion of the housing will be reserved for youth between the ages of 19 and 24 years.
“BC Housing has successfully housed thousands of people in supportive housing units across the province, including more than 140 people in Kelowna during the past year,” said Colin Basran, mayor, City of Kelowna. “BC Housing, Interior Health, the City of Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Journey Home Society and community agencies are working together on the urgent need for housing to support the 700 local residents who are either currently homeless or on the waitlist with the BC Housing Supportive Housing Registry.”
Canadian Mental Health Association of Kelowna will oversee the day-to-day operations and provide 24/7 support services to residents, including referrals to Interior Health recovery programs where needed. All residents will sign a program agreement, which will detail expected resident behaviours and the building’s rules.
“Providing homes with appropriate supports is fundamental to supporting the health and well-being for people who may have been homeless for a long time,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna and District Branch. “Housing stability is the first step in clearing the way so people can thrive and move towards an improved quality of life.”
The project site is currently home to the Knights of Columbus Hall. The non-profit organization sold the land to the developer and, in return, will receive a new hall and two residential units in the new supportive housing building.
Construction is expected to begin in summer 2019, with completion anticipated for spring 2021.
Neighbours and the broader community will be invited to an information session at the end of June to learn more about the project.
Mike Culos , president, Culos Development Group —
“Our firm has been working with the Knights of Columbus for over 10 years trying to redevelop its McCurdy Road site in keeping with the goals of the society, while providing a facility that is beneficial to the community at large. We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the Knights of Columbus and with BC Housing to build this much-needed supportive living development.”
Garry Zarr, administrator, Knights of Columbus —
“The Knights of Columbus Counsel 6233 Hall Society are more than pleased that they can provide the building site for this much-needed housing to help our city. We are looking forward to our new facilities. Thanks to Culos Developments for helping us put this together.”
- Residents of supportive housing at McCurdy Road will pay rent of $375 per month, the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the Province.
- The project is being funded through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, which will create 2,700 supportive housing units around B.C. This is in addition to the more than 2,000 supportive homes built or underway in 22 communities through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program.
- In addition to these 49 homes on McCurdy Road, the Province is working to address housing challenges in Kelowna through the Building BC funds. More than 475 homes are completed or underway:
- Community Housing Fund: 73 affordable rental homes for individuals, families and seniors.
- Indigenous Housing Fund: 59 affordable rental homes for Indigenous peoples (Kelowna and Westbank).
- Women’s Transition Housing Fund: Approximately 40 units of second-stage and permanent affordable housing.
- Supportive Housing Fund: 50 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness.
- Rapid Response to Homelessness program: 46 supportive homes completed and 51 homes in development.
- HousingHub: 157 rental homes.
To learn more about the McCurdy Road project, visit: letstalkhousingbc.ca/kelowna-mccurdy
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
Journey Home Strategy: https://www.kelowna.ca/our-community/addressing-homelessness/journey-home
Two backgrounders follow.