B.C. Housing review of supportive housing in Penticton won't stop city legal action | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Housing review of supportive housing in Penticton won't stop city legal action

June 22, 2021 - 11:13 AM

B.C. Housing is finally going ahead with a review of the impact three supportive housing projects are having in Penticton but the city is still going ahead with legal action against the provincial ministry.

The city got a commitment four months ago from B.C. Housing that it would review the impact of the three facilities (Burdock, Compass Court and Fairhaven) but it didn’t hear until last week that a consultant, Harry Cummings and Associates, has finally been hired and the review will take six months to complete, states a City of Penticton new release issued today, June 22.

“In terms of what council is looking for, we’ve been clear from the beginning,” Mayor John Vassilaki said in the release. “B.C. Housing’s letter neither met our expectation for timely and aligned information, nor did it facilitate a notable stride forward on this issue.”

For one thing, he said, the letter from B.C. Housing is “vague on the level of public engagement that will occur.”

Council had specifically requested that the public, especially neighbouring residents and businesses, be consulted.

Council also wanted the review to be finished before any further housing projects went ahead. But an application has already been made for a project at 3240 Skaha Lake Rd., although it is more of a recovery housing model than supportive housing, the release states.

Vassilaki also asked Attorney General and Minister responsible for Housing, David Eby, to ask Premier John Horgan to intervene over the controversy surrounding the Victory Church emergency housing project.

That was a shelter that was scheduled to close March 31. B.C. Housing asked for an extension of its permit. City council refused. The province overruled the city and has kept the shelter open.

READ MORE: Majority of those surveyed back Penticton council's controversial decision on homeless shelter

Since it doesn’t look like Horgan is going to get involved in that dispute, the city says it will now proceed with legal action against the province after B.C. Housing provided information the city requested in order to file that suit.


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