August 31, 2015 - 7:00 PM
VERNON - Local organizations have a plan in place to support people evicted from the Green Valley Motel.
Tenants must be out of the building by the end of the day today, Aug. 31, and Annette Sharkey from the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan says local organizations, primarily the John Howard Society, are prepared to help anyone in need of a place to stay.
“Even before the eviction notice came we had a plan in place, we knew this motel could close at any point and that it would have an impact on the community,” Sharkey says.
To date, only a handful of tenants have approached the John Howard Society for assistance finding long-term housing, she says.
“We’re hearing through the grapevine people have made their own plans or moved out to other communities,” Sharkey says.
It’s unknown how many, if any, individuals will be left on the street, but Sharkey says shelter beds are available for anyone needing a place to go. B.C. Housing has provided funding for extra mats at the shelter, a resource normally reserved for the cold weather response program.
“At this point it’s just wait and see,” Sharkey says.
The motel was for sale for just over $1 million, but one of the owners, who asked not to be named, says a decision has been made to take it off the market once the tenants are gone. Several offers were made, he says, but they were all too low to accept.
“At this point, we’ve been foreclosed. We have lots of ideas (for the building) but at this moment, everything is up in the air,” he says.
He and the other two owners are considering renovating the building and reopening it, but say it would be completely different from the Green Valley Motel.
The building is known for criminal activity, and police were called there roughly 200 times in 2014.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015