Province buys motel in Vernon to ensure people stay housed

CANADA, March 31 – The province, through BC Housing, has purchased the former Polson Park Motel in Vernon to provide 29 permanent homes with support services for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

“With this purchase, we continue to add to the important efforts underway to ensure that vulnerable people in Vernon have access to stable and permanent housing,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MPP for Vernon-Monashee. “Budget 2022 provides funding for a new permanent housing plan so that vulnerable people who have been living in temporary housing since the start of the pandemic now have a permanent place to call home.”

The former motel, located at 3201 24th Ave., is a two-story building with 29 units, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette. Since April 2020, BC Housing has been renting the motel as temporary housing for vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic. By purchasing the motel, current residents will be able to stay in the building.

Turning Points Collaborative Society, which has managed the site since April 2020, will continue to operate the building. The society will provide residents with support services including daily meals, life skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental health resources, and access to addiction treatment and recovery. Full-time staff will provide residents with round-the-clock support.

“As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, we recognize that the need for affordable housing services in Vernon is greater than ever,” said Randene Wejr, executive director, Turning Points Collaborative Society. “Inflation, a lack of affordable housing and a growing waiting list means that more and more families and seniors are on the verge of becoming homeless. We are extremely grateful to BC Housing for adding these 29 units to our permanent housing stock in Vernon.

The purchase is part of the province’s new permanent housing plan. Budget 2022 commits $264 million over three years to ensure the nearly 3,000 people who have been temporarily housed during the COVID-19 pandemic do not return to homelessness.

“Creating more affordable permanent housing is critical to ensuring our community continues to meet a growing need for our residents,” said Victor Cumming, Mayor of the City of Vernon. “The city is grateful to BC Housing for securing these units and to Turning Points Collaborative Society for the ongoing and impactful support it provides to local residents living in vulnerable housing conditions, including many families and seniors. .

Since 2017, the province has funded more than 32,000 new affordable homes that have been completed or are underway for British Columbians, including more than 530 homes in Vernon.

Fast facts:

  • The province, through BC Housing, is investing $2.6 million to purchase and renovate the former Polson Park Motel.
  • An independent valuation of the site was completed in February 2022 and supports the purchase price, which is below the appraised value.
  • BC Housing will also provide an annual operating grant of approximately $1 million.

Learn more:

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in British Columbia is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

To learn more about the province’s actions to address the housing crisis and provide affordable housing for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/

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