Big waitlist for affordable housing in Vernon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon News

Big waitlist for affordable housing in Vernon

B.C. Housing purchased the Journey Inn in Vernon over the summer of 2015 to be used as low-income housing.
Image Credit: Google Images

VERNON - A new affordable housing building in Vernon is already proving its value.

Roughly 60 applications have already been received from people wanting to live at Blair Apartments, John Howard Society of the North Okanagan executive director Barbara Levesque says.

Previously known as the Journey Inn, the 38-unit apartment building is now owned by B.C. Housing and operated by the John Howard Society. It was named after longtime society board member Blair Peden, in honour of his ongoing commitment to the community.

“There’s such a need for affordable housing in Vernon, we could’ve filled the apartment in the first week,” Levesque says.

But individuals hoping to call Blair Apartments home will have to be patient. The building is undergoing extensive renovations, and the society is only filling 10 suites right now. The renovations are expected to wrap up in late 2016. 

Levesque says there’s a mix of tenants right now, some young, some old, some working, some not.

“They’re just local people that need affordable housing,” Levesque says.

To be eligible, tenants must be low income, in need of affordable housing, and able to live independently with minimal supports. The building will have a community kitchen and garden, as well as programs to assist residents in overcoming social isolation and fostering a sense of belonging.

While a fantastic step, Levesque says more affordable housing is still needed in the city.

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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