Neighbours fear supportive housing complex
Critics oppose BC Housing project planned for area with lots of seniors
The proposed location of a supportive housing complex in Kelowna could be better used for other purposes, project critics say.
Opponents were to gather last night to keep up their campaign against BC Housing’s plans for the site at 2025 Agassiz Rd.
“That piece of property is much better suited for use as a building for low-income seniors or abused women,” says Dave Bradshaw of the newly named Ambrosi-Barlee Neighbourhood Alliance.
The neighbourhood already has many seniors-oriented complexes, Bradshaw says. Many residents are alarmed by the prospect of a new building that he says is designed to house homeless people and those with severe addiction issues.
“BC Housing is telling us, ‘It’ll be fine, no problems,’ but we just don’t agree with that,” Bradshaw said. “Seniors are terrified what this might mean for their neighbourhood.”
BC Housing was to host a public information meeting on the development at the Ramada Inn. Members of the alliance were going to gather outside, wave placards and distribute information sheets outlining their concerns about the project.
“High-risk individuals, such as users of hard drugs and people with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, should not be housed with, or next door to, the vulnerable,” reads part of the leaflet.
BC Housing says the project would be similar to a 51-unit residential complex that has opened at 1642 Commerce Ave. It’s a threestorey modular structure, where on-site services include life skills training, employment assistance, and referral to community services and support groups.
“This building will provoke an environment that is supportive, that meets people where they’re at,” Ann Howard of BC Housing said last week during a media tour of the Commerce Avenue residence.