16:59 PM

Supportive housing review shows benefit to residents

PENTICTON - An independent review of supportive housing sites in Penticton found that residents are benefiting from having a stable home with access to supports.

The review was commissioned by BC Housing at the request of Penticton City Council in spring 2021. It looked at the extent to which three supportive housing sites in Penticton (Burdock House, Compass Court and Fairhaven) are meeting their mandates to residents, the need for supportive housing in Penticton, and the impact supportive housing has on residents and the surrounding community.

The review included interviews with supportive housing operators, RCMP, city staff and local business owners, as well as tours of all three sites and a survey with residents.

Some of the key findings from survey responses include:

  • 92% of residents report positive interactions with neighbours.
  • 66% of residents report improvements in overall well-being.
  • 59% of residents report improved access to supports.
  • 44% of residents report improvements in their physical health.
  • 41% of residents report improved access to education.
  • 38% of residents report improvements to their mental health.
  • 37% of residents report improvements in addiction issues.
  • 35% of residents report improved access to employment opportunities.

The review also found that staff at the three supportive housing locations have developed constructive approaches to building positive relationships with the surrounding community through resident clean-up programs, neighbourhood watch programs and community advisory committees.

Data on the number of calls for emergency services from these three supportive housing facilities shows that, although calls to police and ambulance are sometimes higher near supportive housing buildings than in other areas, most of these calls were for health reasons. It also noted the importance of recognizing that calls are for anyone in the area and are not specific to residents of supportive housing.

The review was completed by Harry Cummings and Associates, an independent consultancy firm.

A copy of the Penticton Supportive Housing Review Summary Report can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Penticton-Supportive-Housing-Review- Summary-Report.pdf