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We restored 78 homes for Kelowna seniors

Before and after images of Father Delestre housing. Before image shows two-storey building with white stucco walls. After image shows similar two-storey building with freshly painted walls and new fittings.
The Father Delestre renewal project, before (left) and after (right). Photos: Pauline Labayo, Tracey Burrows. 


Time and weather took a toll on Kelowna’s Father Delestre housing. Home to more than 78 low-income, mostly senior residents, the 17 buildings showed wear and tear. Outside stucco walls were cracked. Roofs, balconies, hallways, paths and fences were dim and worn. Inside, rooms were drafty­­ —chilly in winter, too hot in summer. Resident utility bills were sky-high.

It’s been a well-loved home for a long time. The first buildings, 55 units, opened in 1977. In 1986, a final 20 homes were added. These homes gave safe, secure, affordable, mostly wheelchair-friendly housing to many Kelowna seniors.

But with over 50 years of service, even well-maintained homes need some sort of renewal. That’s where our Asset Strategies team comes in. Each year the team upgrades older social housing across the province. Homes built in the 60s and 70s are still valuable, but over time major repairs are needed.

Working with Operations, the Asset Strategies team chooses projects based on need. With soaring building energy costs, cracked stucco, and unstable building walkways, it was clear the Father Delestre homes needed help.

Major upgrades helped reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions  

The older homes got new rainscreen wall systems, renewed balcony waterproofing and railings. Insulation was added to crawlspaces, attics and exterior walls. Fresh, outdoor wall cladding replaced old, cracked stucco. Drafty rooms became cozy and more energy efficient thanks to new attic and crawl space insulation plus new energy-saving doors and windows. New lighting, baseboard heaters and hot water tanks in every unit added to energy improvements.  

The community and the Father Delestre team are so pleased with the improvements! Residents feel safer with the new outdoor lights, the whole place is brighter. All the homes look new again—savings were gained on monthly resident utility bills. These homes won’t need another major repair for another 50 years. Money well spent for the seniors that live here!”

Gary Zarr, Building Manager

Other upgrades

Used by everyone, the community building got renewed too. Energy-saving windows, doors, air conditioning units, an elevator lift, floors and cabinetry were added. Outside walkways and balconies were replaced for improved safety. New security cameras and smoke alarms were added for more site security. A new and bigger scooter shed was built to replace an old, small shed torn down at the start of the project.  

Landscaping, parking and sidewalks were improved too. New, attractive vinyl-type privacy fencing was placed between all the lower units. Garden landscapes were refreshed through-out.