New housing, transition homes on the way for people in Kelowna
More people in Kelowna, including families and seniors, as well as women and children leaving violence, will soon have more affordable homes to choose from as more than 180 new units open or under construction.
“These three new developments in Kelowna are part of our government’s commitment to boost affordable housing supply so that people, whether they are families, seniors or women and children looking for a safe space, have options to turn to,” said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s Minister of Housing. “Thanks to partnerships with municipalities like the City of Kelowna and community leaders, we’re making significant progress as we work to build homes faster here and in every part of the province.”
Located at 1360 Bertram St., Hadgraft Wilson Place is welcoming residents to 68 new affordable rental homes. The homes were constructed through a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, the federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the City of Kelowna and Pathways Abilities Society, which will operate the building. The six-storey building contains studio, one- and two-bedroom homes for seniors, people with low to moderate incomes and people living with disabilities.
Construction is also underway on 75 rental units in the north end of Kelowna at 651 Cambridge Ave. These new homes make up the second phase of the Pleasantvale housing development and will provide affordable rental homes for individuals with low to moderate incomes, families, seniors and people living with disabilities. The development will be operated by the Society of HOPE. Construction is expected to be complete in spring 2024.
“These affordable housing initiatives are improving a housing supply that meets the social and economic needs of Kelowna,” said Tom Dyas, mayor, Kelowna. “They are part of our efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing options for people with low to moderate incomes.”
The Province and CMHC are also investing in new housing for women and children who are leaving violence or experiencing homelessness, with the redevelopment of the Alexandra Gardener Safe House (AG Centre). Operated by NOW Canada, a new five-storey building will replace the existing 20 shelter beds and provide an additional 24 studio units of transitional housing for women and children in need of a safe, secure place to stay.
Construction of the new building is expected to start this summer. To prevent disruption of services during construction, BC Housing will provide an interim shelter for women currently accessing shelter services at AG Centre. NOW Canada will manage the shelter.
Additionally, the Province, through BC Housing, is working with the City of Kelowna to explore redevelopment opportunities for 1451 and 1469 Bertram St. More information about potential uses of the site will be shared with the community this fall.
These projects are part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the province has more than 76,000 new homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 1,600 homes in Kelowna.
Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion –
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Investments like these right here in Kelowna demonstrate the government’s commitment to providing access to safe, affordable homes for seniors, families and persons with disabilities, and women and children fleeing domestic violence or experiencing homelessness. This is the National Housing Strategy in action.”
Taleb Noormohamed, MP for Vancouver Granville –
“The Government of Canada is investing in affordable housing here in Kelowna and across Canada to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it most. With our partners in the province, we are providing a helping hand for individuals and families in need, because everyone deserves a safe roof over their head. The federal government believes the right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right for all Canadians.”
Charisse Daley, executive director, Pathways Abilities Society –
“We are very grateful to be providing this much-needed inclusive, affordable housing to our community. It is incredible to see a project that started as just an idea to fill a need in Kelowna become a reality. We look forward to honouring the building’s namesakes, the Hadgraft and Wilson families, and all the work they did to advocate for the acceptance and inclusion of people with diverse abilities while understanding the need to create affordable homes for the community.”
Ken Zeitner, executive director, Society of HOPE –
“The society is excited to start construction to complete the redevelopment of the Pleasantvale project. The need for this affordable housing is unprecedented and we're privileged to have such great support from our federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as the wonderful contributions from Rotary over the years.”
Liz Talbott, executive director, NOW Canada –
“NOW Canada is delighted to be partnering with all levels of government to redevelop our shelter and create an additional 24 suites of transitional housing for women and children in Kelowna. This is another step forward in addressing the lack of shelter beds and affordable accommodation combined with programs and services for those who are vulnerable in our community.”
To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit:
A map showing the location of all announced housing projects in B.C. funded by the Province is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.