Modular housing for the homeless still on track in Kelowna - InfoNews

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Modular housing for the homeless still on track in Kelowna

Vancouver's first temporary modular housing project taking place in December 2016. It officially opened in February 2017.
Image Credit: (NICK PROCAYLO/PostMedia)
February 23, 2018 - 10:09 AM

KELOWNA - It didn’t make it for this winter, but a modular housing project for Kelowna’s homeless, delayed because of concerns over its appearance, should be back in front of council in time for construction this spring.

The 55-unit low-barrier housing project was supposed to be assembled on a lot owned by B.C. Housing on Commerce Street off Enterprise Way after approval by Kelowna city council.

However a form and character application was withdrawn before its consideration in early December when tenants of Mill Creek Commerce Park told B.C. Housing they didn’t mind the location but didn’t like the “construction trailer” look of the of the project.

The hope was the redesigned project would be returned for council consideration early in the new year.

Director of community planning Doug Gilchrist confirmed the project has not yet been returned to council although he expects it to be resubmitted by mid-March.

B.C. Housing representative Andrea Coutts would not confirm when the project might back before Kelowna city council but said the file is active.

"We have received feedback on the building design for the proposed project at Commerce Avenue and we are working on the exterior appearance of the building, including landscaping, to address the aesthetic concerns raised by neighbouring businesses,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

She would not confirm the mid-March estimation provided by Gilchrist.

The 55-unit project is part of 2,000 modular units the NDP government has said it will install in communities across the province.

While the majority of the units will go to Vancouver, about 1,400 will be installed in other parts of the Lower Mainland and some Interior cities like Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon.

Penticton approved the installation of 52 modular units in December.

Vernon is scheduled to see the first of its low-income, low-barrier modular units installed in March.

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