KAMLOOPS – Say goodbye to the waterslide, hot tub and pool, because the 42 rooms at the Maverick Motor Inn will soon be turned into affordable housing.
The motel was acquired for $6 million at the end of April and Bob Hughes of Ask Wellness hopes it will be ready by Aug. 1.
Once the rezoning process is finished, crews will install fire suppression systems, upgrade kitchens and flooring, and decommission the pool and waterslide. All the furniture is staying and then the space is basically ready for tenants, says Hughes.
Ask Wellness worked with the United Way and the provincial government to complete the deal to provide “third stage” housing specifically for people who are ready to return to the work force, Hughes says.
“We look at things this way: From streets to homes, to health, to employment. We hope that given the right tools people will move on through here and enter the work force,” Hughes says.
Tenants who are stable and not active in drugs or alcohol will be considered.
Hughes says the location is ideal because of its proximity to an industrial area and commercial businesses.
“It’s a central location for those who don’t want the streets back in their lives,” Hughes says.
Now that the purchase is secured, there is a bit of work to be done.
“Sadly we have to decommission the pool, waterslide and hot tub,” Hughes says with a laugh.
Staff members are now considering alternate uses for the pool space. Hughes says they ultimately plan to lease the space out, and apply the revenue toward programming for the tenants.
The adjoined Beijing Restaurant will stay during the transition and was part of the 3.2 acre purchase.
Seven full-time staff members will work in the building and a live-in caretaker will provide security for the tenants.
Hughes says tenants will be chosen based on an assessment tool developed by the province and through work with community partners. He stressed that this wasn’t going to be a place where people will live long-term and there are expectations they find employment and housing. Tenants can stay for up to two years.
“We are conscious to not fill the building with 42 folks that just want to stay. We will pick people who want to enter the work force,” Hughes says.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Kim Anderson 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.