Refugee committee wants to know if you have a suite for rent in the North Okanagan

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VERNON - Leads on hotel rooms, secondary suites and other accommodation are being sought as groups prepare to welcome refugees to the North Okanagan.

The North Okanagan Refugee Committee has issued a plea for temporary and long term housing options today, Feb. 18. With affordable housing already a challenge in the community, committee member Annette Sharkey says they are hoping the public can help.

“The committee is hopeful there may be leads for housing that are not currently listed in the private rental market. Maybe a resident has a secondary suite that is currently not being used or a second home they would be willing to rent,” Sharkey says in a media release.

At least nine different church and community groups are in various processes of sponsoring refugee families to the North Okanagan, and there is also the possibility government assisted refugees will be arriving shortly, Sharkey says. Some sponsoring groups have already secured housing, others are still looking.

Vernon and District Immigrant Services is looking for opportunities with motels and hotels to provide temporary accommodation with kitchenettes for up to two weeks and will be taking calls from the public regarding housing leads. Ideally, the accommodation would be close to downtown, schools, and local amenities or with a bus stop nearby.

“There have been some great suggestions already and we welcome more tips and ideas from local residents,” Carol Wutzke from immigrant services says.

People are encouraged to call 250-542-4177 or email

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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