Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

40 new complex care housing units coming to Kelowna

Kelowna city council and Minister of Health and Addiction Jennifer Whiteside at the press event today, April 15, 2024.
Kelowna city council and Minister of Health and Addiction Jennifer Whiteside at the press event today, April 15, 2024.

The BC government is building 40 housing units in Kelowna to support those struggling with mental health and addiction with additional units to be built in Kamloops.

The initiative is part of a larger plan to build a total of 240 complex care housing units around the province.

Of the 40 units in Kelowna, 20 of them will be for complex care and 20 will be designated as supportive housing. These stand alone units will be built next to 1144 Pacific Avenue in Kelowna. 

The new complex care housing units are a joint project between the provincial government, the city and Interior Health, and was announced at a news conference in Kelowna today, April 15. The city contributed municipal land for the project.

“Yesterday we marked eight years since the province declared a public health emergency in response to the toxic drug crisis,” Minister of Health and Addictions Jennifer Whiteside said. “I know you see this struggle in your community and we see the urgency in this.”

There is no firm timeline for when these units will be available but Whiteside said they will be ready “as quickly as possible.”

Interior Health was unable to provide an estimate on how many people in Kelowna are in need of complex care, but Whiteside said this is just a part of the solution.

“We’re working on building a continuum of housing. This complex care housing is just a part of that,” she said. 

Interior Health social worker Ashley Halston said complex care can look like a range of things.

“The best way to describe the services we provide is that they are client centred. It’s what the client wants at the time they want it. That can look like a range of things, it could be treatment, but it might not be treatment,” she said. “They may not want that at the moment and they may not be ready for that. Sometimes the goals are to reconnect with family, sometimes goals are medical, it’s not just treatment.”

The complex care housing will be spread between Abbotsford, Burnaby, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Sechelt, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria. Of those, 40 units will be Indigenous-led and the ministry said officials are working with Indigenous groups to identify partners and "priority communities."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jesse Tomas or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.