Penticton’s Burdock House supportive housing on Winnipeg St. is one of the B.C. Housing buildings the City of Penticton wants audited. (Brennan Phillips Western News)

Penticton’s Burdock House supportive housing on Winnipeg St. is one of the B.C. Housing buildings the City of Penticton wants audited. (Brennan Phillips Western News)

South Okanagan shelter debate delays BC Housing audit

Council was provided with a plan for an audit the same day they rejected the permit extension request

Penticton council has had information since March 2 detailing the supportive housing audit they requested.

BC Housing sent a letter outlining the draft scope of the audit, and confirming that they would use a third party for it, with timing and any further details coming through discussion between council and BC Housing.

The letter happened to be sent the same day council made their decision regarding not extending the permit for the Victory Church shelter.

“Unfortunately the same people who would be working on that in cooperation with Penticton council are now the ones responding to the crisis that has been created by Penticton council by attempting to close the shelter,” Minister David Eby told the Western News on Thursday. “So that work is on hold.”

READ MORE: City of Penticton seeks audit of BC Housing supportive housing units

The letter laid out that BC Housing would have the third party handle the data collection and the analysis, and what information they’d be gathering.

The specific impacts the research would be focused on would be the impacts to homelessness, housing stability, quality of life, community acceptance, the health of residents and the use of emergency health care services.

The surveying would be done with the three supportive housing developments in the community: Fairhaven, Compass Court and Burdock House.

READ MORE: Poll: Do you support another supportive housing building in Penticton?

The data would be collected through multiple surveys, including one for residents, one for the housing providers, one for community advisory committees, representatives from the community and local organizations and finally a survey of BC Housing’s internal administrative data sources. The latter would provide information such as resident demographics and support needs.

The third-party audit would also study the data related to the number of ambulance calls, overdoses, emergency room visits, hospital stays and police calls if that data can be provided by their respective organizations.

However, the audit and city council’s request won’t be considered until the ongoing issue of the Victory Church shelter is resolved.

“The accelerated review and what we’ve proposed is not going ahead until we figure out what’s happening,” said Eby.

READ MORE: Penticton city council meets tonight to discuss BC Housing demands

On March 8, BC Housing sent council a letter outlining how they could either review their decision to reject the permit extension, or council’s decision would be overridden by the province.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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