Housing has been found for all Airport Inn residents – if they want it | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Housing has been found for all Airport Inn residents – if they want it

Two units at the far end of this main Airport Inn Lakeside building were gutted by a suspicious fire.
October 22, 2019 - 5:30 PM

One of the challenges to finally closing down Lake Country's troubled Airport Inn Lakeside was to find alternative housing for all its illegal residents.

That's been done, B.C. Housing confirmed to iNFOnews.ca.

“While B.C. Housing does not have a mandate in this privately-owned and operated residence, after learning about the condition of the building and health needs of some residents, B.C. Housing and other agencies have stepped in to support the people affected,” B.C. Housing said in an email yesterday, Oct. 21. “B.C. Housing is visiting the building to engage with residents who may need support and has secured housing for the people who wish to apply."

B.C. Housing wouldn't say how many applied. 

Two units were gutted by a suspicious fire early Friday morning, Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor said today. Both were in the main building closest to Highway 97 and had not been used for “quite a few years,” Windsor said.

There are at least three other buildings on the property, which is where the people were living.

At one point it was estimated that about 30 people lived on site but half were rehoused shortly after Lake Country council refused to grant an extension of its order to remove everyone, board up the buildings and fence off the property. That decision was made earlier this month.

B.C. Housing said it was not authorized to say how many people were living on the property at the time of the fire or how many remained.

It appears their offer isn't being easily accepted. Windsor said it seems to be a bit of a “moving target" as to how many people remain. Staff from B.C. Housing have been on site and working with residents for the last couple of weeks, according to District of Lake Country staff.

Fire and police investigators were on site Saturday and a contractor is starting to board up empty units, he said.

Owner Raif Fleihan refused to answer questions on Friday and ordered iNFOnews.ca off the property.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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.

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