Kelowna’s temporary housing project operators revealed

An example of what the tiny homes in Kelowna could look like. Ministry of Housing

Operators for Kelowna’s two new temporary housing projects have been lined up, B.C.’s minister of housing announced Wednesday.

The John J. Howard Society of Okanagan will operate the tiny home project at 759 Crowley Ave. and Turning Points Collaborative Society will manage the housing development at 2740 Hwy. 97 N.

The City of Kelowna and the province announced in October the intention to build 120 spaces to help address a growing homelessness crisis in the Okanagan city and the last piece of the puzzle was finding out which organization would operate them.

“We know this housing is needed urgently, which is why we have worked quickly to secure experienced operators who can provide the necessary supports and services vulnerable people need to stabilize their lives,” Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing, said in a statement.

“We know that work is far from done, which is why we will continue to take urgent action to expedite construction on these homes so people can move in as soon as possible.”

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The tiny houses project at Crowley Avenue is anticipated to be complete and have residents moving in in February 2024.

The Highway 97 North project is anticipated to be complete by March 2024. The sites are on land owned by the City of Kelowna, which will lease it to the province for a nominal fee.

Click to play video: 'Tiny home community site in Kelowna coming along'
Tiny home community site in Kelowna coming along

“With the cold season here, we look forward to seeing these sites open as soon as possible,” said Tom Dyas, mayor of Kelowna.

The societies will provide support services such as daily meals, 24-7 staffing, access to skills training and support navigating the housing system. Individuals moving into these homes will be assessed and matched with appropriate supports. A communal washroom and meal area will be provided separate from the units.

The two projects are intended as temporary housing solutions, providing time for BC Housing to continue working with the City of Kelowna to identify and build new permanent supportive housing.

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The Crowley project will be made up of 60 units of 60 square feet.

Click to play video: 'Neighbours react to tiny home community for homeless'
Neighbours react to tiny home community for homeless

“I’ve been in them, it creates a great environment. There’s a very warm area, there’s a bed that’s provided, there’s a dresser that’s provided, there’s an area to hang clothes that’s provided,” Dyas said during an October announcement. “It’s the best possible solution that we can do with the need that is in front of us very quickly.”

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