People experiencing homelessness in Penticton are moving into their new homes, as a 62-unit permanent modular project opens with around-the-clock care and supports.
“These new permanent homes with wraparound supports will help people heal from the experience of being homeless and give them a stable foundation on which to build a better life,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is proud to work with partners to provide people experiencing homelessness with the opportunity to move off the streets and into safe and secure homes.”
Located at 594 Winnipeg St., Burdock House is a newly completed four-storey modular building featuring 62 studio units, including four accessible units. Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building also includes communal space for counselling and community meetings, a multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and dining room. Outdoor amenities include a gazebo, bike and cart storage, and a pet-friendly running area.
ASK Wellness Society, an experienced non-profit housing operator, will operate Burdock House and provide residents with 24/7 on-site staff and support services. These include meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services, and opportunities for volunteer work.
“On behalf of ASK Wellness Society, we are honoured to have worked with the City of Penticton and BC Housing to bring this vital housing facility to the community,” said Bob Hughes, executive director, ASK Wellness Society. “Sixty-two people who have lived without housing will now have a safe, supportive and affordable home to begin the journey to reclaim their health and connection to community. Penticton has waited years for this type of housing and we are proud to work with our community partners to make this project a tremendous success through support, clinical services and old-fashioned care and compassion.”
“Penticton City Council is delighted to see this long discussed and highly anticipated housing project completed,” said John Vassilaki, mayor, City of Penticton. “Access to supportive housing for those in need supports council’s priority of building a safe, secure and healthy community. The opening of Burdock House, combined with the amenities, services and staff resources it provides its residents, will go a long way in providing a quality solution to Penticton’s housing challenge.”
Penticton’s own Metric Modular was selected by the Province to manufacture the modular units for Burdock House and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and the local economy. The name Burdock House was chosen by ASK Wellness Society to represent the native plant that grows in the area.
Residents started moving in at the end of September 2019. The priority for resident selection was given to people experiencing homelessness in the Penticton area. The building will be fully occupied later this month.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- New reports show that supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness is substantially improving the quality of life for residents and reducing their use of emergency health services. The full reports and a summary of the results can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes-reports.
- The Province invested $12.5 million for the land and construction costs and will provide an annual operating subsidy for the project.
- The City of Penticton provided $288,496 in waived development cost charges.
- The construction of supportive homes is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs throughout the province, which includes 1,400 direct jobs and another 650 jobs in supplier industries.
- In just over two years, government has built more than 2,000 supportive homes, with over 800 more underway and a goal of 4,700 over 10 years.
Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness
For a map of the modular projects, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
To find out more about ASK Wellness Society, visit: www.askwellness.ca
Two backgrounders follow.