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City supports provincial initiative to provide modular housing units

An example of a modular housing complex. BC Housing asked the City of Penticton for a memorandum of understanding to work together to supply 52 modular housing units to add to the city's inventory of non-market housing at today's council meeting, Dec. 19, 2017.
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December 20, 2017 - 11:20 AM

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton is teaming up with B.C. Housing to provide 52 modular housing units to Penticton through the province’s recent initiative to provide shelter to the homeless.

City of Penticton planning manager Blake Laven said the city has made considerable progress in alleviating the need for non-market housing since an early 2016 city housing needs assessment was completed but this moves the needle significantly.

That study identified a need for 240 units for the non-market housing market, with a homeless registry counting 128 persons as homeless and 75 people chronically homeless in the city.

Laven called the community response through the provincial housing authority, the city and local non-profit housing providers “big,” noting 90 housing units were now online or about to come online.

He said a second homeless person registry was just being completed, with only 76 people identified as homeless this year.

Laven said the province’s recent announcement of $291 million to provide 2,000 modular units for the province’s homeless included B.C. Housing’s desire to construct 52 of those units in Penticton. B.C. Housing requested a memorandum of understanding with the city for support for the initiative and to work with the housing authority to place the units.

Laven said the location for the units has yet to be decided, but would likely densify an existing housing project in the city.

Once a location is selected, a public land use notification process will commence with the level of neighbourhood engagement depending on which land use approval is required.

“Exciting to see. I think some of the work of the task force, 100 Homes Penticton and the work we’ve been doing to facilitate a lot of these groups to work together is also helping to put us on the radar in terms of the province saying, ‘Penticton is shovel ready,’ and there is definitely a need there,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

Council approved the motion unanimously.

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