Neighbouring businesses losing patience with supportive housing project in Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Neighbouring businesses losing patience with supportive housing project in Penticton

A Penticton city council committee is looking into problems surrounding the Compass House facility on Main Street following the receipt of a letter from a neighbouring strip mall.
July 09, 2020 - 2:29 PM

Poor behaviour by residents has raised the ire of neighbouring businesses following the conversion of the former Super 8 Motel in Penticton to a supportive housing project last year.

Compass House is operated by the Penticton and District Society for Community Living. The facility at 1706 Main St. contains 16 supportive housing units that opened last May, in addition to a 30 bed emergency shelter.

Penticton city council agreed Tuesday, July 7, to have the safety and security advisory committee look at concerns about the shelter after receiving a letter from property owner Robert Lougheed, who owns a strip mall next door.

Lougheed asked the City for more tickets to be handed out to Compass House, citing daily nuisances on his property that included trespassing, drug use, broken windows, fires, loitering and garbage left behind.

He also pushed for more security on site in order to monitor clients’ activities in areas outside the property. He said the chain link fence around Compass House had eight openings used for nightly visits outside the facility by clients.

Business owners adjacent the Compass House facility say there are numerous gaps in the chain link fence surrounding the property as well as a general lack of security.
Business owners adjacent the Compass House facility say there are numerous gaps in the chain link fence surrounding the property as well as a general lack of security.

Lougheed said his strip mall’s tenants had been enduring non-stop problems since Compass House opened, and three long-term tenants had left the mall.

Ken Peng manages the 5000 Motel at 1742 Main St., to the south of Compass House. He says noise and harassment of his guests are big issues.

“That unit has big, loud speakers,” Peng said yesterday, July 8, pointing to an end unit of Compass House. “They set them on the deck and turn them on at 8 in the morning.”

Peng says he’s had customers book for several nights and check out after the first night after being harassed by clientele from Compass House.

“The homeless, they wander over here and knock on my guests’ doors,” Peng says. “I’ve made numerous complaints and nothing has been done.”

At Tuesday’s council meeting, councillor Katie Robinson said an original letter received by council from community living promised on-site, 24/7 staff, in addition to ongoing engagement with neighbours and local business to identify and address concerns.

Ken Peng of the 5000 Motel, next door to Compass House, says residents play loud music and wander onto his motel property where they harass his guests.
Ken Peng of the 5000 Motel, next door to Compass House, says residents play loud music and wander onto his motel property where they harass his guests.

“Something has to be done,” Robinson said at Tuesday’s meeting. “They were going to provide a quick response to those concerns. That’s clearly not being done.”

Robinson said council clearly saw the need for social housing in originally agreeing to allow Compass House.

“If it’s going to cause problems for neighbouring businesses and taxpayers, I have a problem with that. It certainly needs to be addressed,” she said.

Community living executive director Tony Lang could not be reached for comment.


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