15:02 PM

BC Housing statement on support for Pathways Abilities Society with evacuation of Hadgraft Wilson Place in Kelowna

BC Housing is aware that Pathways Abilities Society has been ordered by the City of Kelowna to immediately begin a planned evacuation of Hadgraft Wilson Place due to safety concerns resulting from construction activity at the nearby UBC Okanagan site. This order affects approximately 84 people who are living in the 68-unit building, as well as their pets. All tenants are required to move out of the building by the afternoon of April 2.

While BC Housing does not provide operational funding for this building, which is owned and operated by Pathways, we did provide funding and financing for the construction of this building.

Given our role as a capital funding partner, after Pathways reached out to BC Housing, in January 2024 we hired structural and geotechnical engineering consultants to monitor the building and assess its structural integrity. We have shared these reports with Pathways, the City of Kelowna, UBC Okanagan, and UBC Properties Trust.

The most recent structural and geotechnical engineering reports indicate the adjacent shoring wall that is part of UBC Okanagan’s construction site is unstable. If this wall were to slip it could cause serious structural damage to Hadgraft Wilson Place. This new information about the risks of the wall come after earlier reports that showed UBC Okanagan’s construction activity had caused cracks in the walls and windows of Hadgraft Wilson Place.

Pathways has been regularly updating tenants and held a meeting today to inform them of the City’s evacuation order. While some tenants may choose to stay with family and friends Pathways is offering to secure accommodations for all tenants that wish to temporary relocate to a hotel.

Once all tenants have vacated the building, engineers will commence a comprehensive review of the building to assess the damage and risks. It’s not yet understood when tenants will be able to return to the building. Together with Pathways, we will share more information once we have advice from engineers around what next steps are for Hadgraft Wilson Place.

This is an incredibly stressful time for everyone involved, particularly for the tenants at Hadgraft Wilson Place who just moved into their new homes a few months ago, many after waiting years for a secure home they could afford.

We thank everyone, including Pathways and the City of Kelowna, who are helping ensure that displaced residents are supported as they move into temporary accommodations. We remain committed to continuing our support to Pathways and the City of Kelowna over the days and weeks ahead.