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Some Kamloops residents suspicious of provincial and municipal plans for Fortune Motel

The Fortune Motel was purchased by B.C. Housing and is going to supportive housing in the fall.
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July 17, 2021 - 9:00 PM

Some fed up residents don’t want another social housing unit opened up on Kamloops’ North Shore and are feeling betrayed after the former Fortune Motel was bought by the province without public knowledge or input.

The building is scheduled to open for supportive housing in the fall as a short term plan, while B.C. Housing remains coy about long term plans but many fear the building will remain a supportive housing unit indefinitely.

The North Shore is currently a topic of conflict and frustration as residents and business owners grapple with increased crime and drug use among some of the homeless population. Resident Katherine Wunderlich says there are already enough government sponsored facilities in her North Shore community. She is angry that there has been no public consultation on the future of the motel.

“My concern is that the province and the municipality of Kamloops are intentionally creating a ghetto on the North Shore,” she said. “We already have enough government-sponsored facilities here. They are creating a safe harbour for people who are wreaking havoc on the very people who support the community through taxes and consumer purchasing. I am angry the government is forcing these types of facilities onto an area that is already struggling.  Decisions appear to have been made under the cloak of secrecy.”

Manager of Media Relations and Issues Management for B.C. Housing, Laura Mathews, says B.C. Housing will be applying to rezone the property later this year and will submit a proposal to the city outlining potential long-term plans for the site.

“Long-term plans for the site have yet to be determined,” she said. “B.C. Housing will work closely with the municipality and the community throughout the planning process and rezoning phase for this property.”

Wunderlich says the response from B.C. Housing ignored the concerns raised and the commitment to engage with the community after the fact is disingenuous.

“It is clear, B.C. Housing, the municipality and the provincial government give no thought to citizens and businesses of these neighbourhoods who are forced to deal with the crime, drugs and dealers and all that this entails,” she said. “We are expendable as far as they are concerned. They have lost the trust of many residents in Kamloops.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 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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