Kelowna – Ellis Place Supportive Housing

BC Housing, the City of Kelowna and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna are working together to provide urgently needed homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna at 1055/1063 Ellis Street. This City-owned property is being leased to BC Housing for 10 years to build 38 modular units of housing, which will be operated by CMHA Kelowna. Ellis Place will be available to people over the age of 19 currently living in the community who have a history of or are at risk of homelessness and who need additional support services to maintain housing.

Recognizing our most vulnerable citizens face significant risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province is expediting the plan to start construction at this site to ensure people in need have access to safe and secure housing. The current lease is for 10 years, and the property will go through the municipal rezoning process if the lease is extended beyond that.

Construction is underway and the building is expected to open in November 2020.

Housing with Support

Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with supports provided on-site, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. Supports could include outreach workers, wellness checks, life skills training, employment assistance, connection and referral to community services and support groups. BC Housing and the housing operator will collaborate with local service providers on a thoughtful and thorough assessment process to ensure an appropriate mix of residents with the right supports live in the housing. Priority will be given to our vulnerable citizens who live in the Kelowna area. All residents would sign a program agreement and would pay rent.

BC Housing

BC Housing supports the city in its commitment to the Journey Home Strategy, focusing on ending chronic and episodic homelessness, introducing measures to prevent homelessness in the first place and implementing a co-ordinated systems approach to homelessness. We work in partnership with the private and non-profit sectors, provincial health authorities and ministries, other levels of government and community groups to develop a range of housing options. For Ellis Place, BC Housing is leading the design and construction of the housing, the resident selection and will provide operational funding to CMHA Kelowna.

City of Kelowna

Homelessness is an evolving, dynamic crisis in our community and these kinds of partnerships go a long way towards creating solutions. This strategic purchase will not only create much needed solutions in the short-term but also has long-term potential with a future land use designation for multi-story residential housing. The City of Kelowna purchased the 0.35 acres combined parcels in March for $1.8M as part of its proactive land acquisition strategy to secure key properties and leverage existing municipal land to further advance a broad range of community priorities. This strategic purchase will not only create much needed solutions in the short-term but also has long-term potential with a future land use designation for multi-story residential housing. This is a long-term land investment and in addition to being close to downtown, this property is ideally located adjacent to existing municipal park space with the potential to be used for many different civic objectives after expiry of the lease.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna

CMHA Kelowna, an experienced local service provider, will operate Ellis Place. Staff will be on-site 24/7 to facilitate connections to community health and support services, including life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.

Community Advisory Committee

CMHA Kelowna will be developing an Ellis Place Community Advisory Committee that will include representation from BC Housing, Interior Health, the City of Kelowna, RCMP, community organizations and community members at large.Please email ellis.place@cmha.bc.ca by October 5th if you would like to apply for a seat on this committee.

The Community Advisory Committee will:

  • Build and maintain positive relationships amongst the community, the building operators and the program partners;
  • Facilitate information sharing and dialogue;
  • Identify and resolve any issues, opportunities and concerns related to building operations.


BC Housing, the City of Kelowna and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna are working together to provide urgently needed homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna at 1055/1063 Ellis Street. This City-owned property is being leased to BC Housing for 10 years to build 38 modular units of housing, which will be operated by CMHA Kelowna. Ellis Place will be available to people over the age of 19 currently living in the community who have a history of or are at risk of homelessness and who need additional support services to maintain housing.

Recognizing our most vulnerable citizens face significant risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province is expediting the plan to start construction at this site to ensure people in need have access to safe and secure housing. The current lease is for 10 years, and the property will go through the municipal rezoning process if the lease is extended beyond that.

Construction is underway and the building is expected to open in November 2020.

Housing with Support

Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with supports provided on-site, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. Supports could include outreach workers, wellness checks, life skills training, employment assistance, connection and referral to community services and support groups. BC Housing and the housing operator will collaborate with local service providers on a thoughtful and thorough assessment process to ensure an appropriate mix of residents with the right supports live in the housing. Priority will be given to our vulnerable citizens who live in the Kelowna area. All residents would sign a program agreement and would pay rent.

BC Housing

BC Housing supports the city in its commitment to the Journey Home Strategy, focusing on ending chronic and episodic homelessness, introducing measures to prevent homelessness in the first place and implementing a co-ordinated systems approach to homelessness. We work in partnership with the private and non-profit sectors, provincial health authorities and ministries, other levels of government and community groups to develop a range of housing options. For Ellis Place, BC Housing is leading the design and construction of the housing, the resident selection and will provide operational funding to CMHA Kelowna.

City of Kelowna

Homelessness is an evolving, dynamic crisis in our community and these kinds of partnerships go a long way towards creating solutions. This strategic purchase will not only create much needed solutions in the short-term but also has long-term potential with a future land use designation for multi-story residential housing. The City of Kelowna purchased the 0.35 acres combined parcels in March for $1.8M as part of its proactive land acquisition strategy to secure key properties and leverage existing municipal land to further advance a broad range of community priorities. This strategic purchase will not only create much needed solutions in the short-term but also has long-term potential with a future land use designation for multi-story residential housing. This is a long-term land investment and in addition to being close to downtown, this property is ideally located adjacent to existing municipal park space with the potential to be used for many different civic objectives after expiry of the lease.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna

CMHA Kelowna, an experienced local service provider, will operate Ellis Place. Staff will be on-site 24/7 to facilitate connections to community health and support services, including life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.

Community Advisory Committee

CMHA Kelowna will be developing an Ellis Place Community Advisory Committee that will include representation from BC Housing, Interior Health, the City of Kelowna, RCMP, community organizations and community members at large.Please email ellis.place@cmha.bc.ca by October 5th if you would like to apply for a seat on this committee.

The Community Advisory Committee will:

  • Build and maintain positive relationships amongst the community, the building operators and the program partners;
  • Facilitate information sharing and dialogue;
  • Identify and resolve any issues, opportunities and concerns related to building operations.


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  • How do I apply for this housing and with who

    ShaneWoW Asked 2 months ago

    This new development is still under construction and is not yet accepting applications. Applicants for all supportive housing buildings should apply through the supportive housing registry.  

    For more information about applying for housing, you can contact Applicant Services at 1-800-257-7756 (toll-free).

  • to get assists for rentals what is the most amount that can be given and what is the annual income for rent assists.

    imperial06 Asked 3 months ago

    Residents in supportive housing will apply and go through an assessment process, and must meet eligibility requirements including income. Residents will pay rent based on their income; this will be determined during a review of income and assets by the housing provider.

  • Hi just inquiring about if the new housing on Ellis is going to be pet friendly

    Natcha Asked about 1 month ago

    The new supportive housing on Ellis street will be pet friendly. All pets will need to be registered with the operator, and residents must agree to follow the pet policy for the building.

  • My teenaged daughter who regularly uses Ellis Street to get downtown and to her friends, etc. and will have to pass by this new facility would like to know if there will be people allowed to hang out outside of the facility (on the sidewalk - either side of the street). She says she is not scared but she clearly has concerns that are valid.

    Ess Van M Asked 2 months ago

    The supportive housing on Ellis will be studio rental homes. Residents living in the housing will have access to a separate outdoor amenity space. Drop in services at supportive housing sites are not provided, nor is there any reason why people would be loitering outside.

    People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

  • On June 16th @ 2am I was woken from my sleep because a druggie was having a bad experience on Ellis Street (1054 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1Y9), just across from where this Supportive Housing unit will be built. The druggie was swearing & screaming at the top of his lungs and banging on industrial garbage cans. I called the non-emergency Police line asking them to attend. I stayed awake for 30 min watching this individual continue to yell and bang on the garbage cans - the police never arrived and eventually the druggie left. Tonight at 1:45 am I was woken again due to loud noises and discovered 3 Homeless people pulling everything out of an industrial garbage can at the same location (1054 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1Y9). I called the non-emergency police line to assist, however the 3 Homeless people left about 15 min later. BC Housing states that “It’s a balance between connecting people with social supports and enforcing the law when criminal activity happens, regardless of where or by whom.” What measures will this Supportive Housing unit provide to support and enforce the law should their patrons engage in criminal activity outside the doors of this Supportive Housing project?

    Brenda S Asked 3 months ago

    The safety of residents, staff and the surrounding community is a priority. BC Housing works closely with our partners to build a safe community both inside and outside the housing. There will be a Community Advisory Committee, which includes representation from the City of Kelowna, Interior Health, BC Housing, the community, and police to address concerns. If concerns or problems occur with specific individuals on the project property, the operator will work with the individual and police on solutions.

    The following security measures will be in place at the building:

    •    The building will be staffed with two or more employees 24/7;

    •    Standard security measures such as well-lit and fenced grounds, extensive camera monitoring, and a controlled entrance. 

    •    Staff will have emergency call buttons/walkie talkies;

    •    All guests will need to provide ID and be buzzed in by reception;

    CMHA Kelowna, an experienced local service provider, will operate 38 new self-contained studio homes. Staff will be on-site 24/7 to facilitate connections to community health and support services, including life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work. 

    Supportive housing offers a variety of potential support services, and staff are well-trained to provide the right support to residents based on their individually assessed needs. Residents will have access to counselling, as well as health, mental health, and addiction recovery services through Interior Health. 

    Every potential resident will be considered on an individual basis to ensure that the housing and services provided by the program match the support services that they need. All residents will pay rent and sign a Program Agreement that sets out expectations to be a good neighbour and tenant. 

  • Would love to get into low income housing as the place I'm residing is up for sale and I'm on disability

    Deanna Asked about 1 month ago

    The housing on Ellis Street will be supportive housing - housing with support services provided onsite, for people that are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and need assistance in order to live independently. 

    BC Housing has a range of programs to provide housing assistance for residents of BC. This includes various subsidized housing options as well as rent supplements in which part of an individual's rent is paid for by BC Housing. You can view this site to search housing listings in a specific area: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-housing/housing-listings       

    The Program Finder can be used to learn which programs you may be eligible for: https://programfinder.bchousing.org/programfinder/faces/start             

    For more information about applying for housing, you can contact Applicant Services at 1-800-257-7756 (toll-free).

  • Having lived along Sunset Drive for a few months now, I’ve had my windshield smashed (along with 12 others on the street, costing me a $300 deductible to fix), watched a vehicle be stolen in the middle of the night with the alarm going off as the thieves drove away and have seen countless “out of city” license plates with smashed windows where “druggies” have gone through glove boxes and trunks to grab anything they think they can sell. These vandalism and thefts have the tax-payer paying the deductibles to fix the damages plus the cost of extra security personal, cameras, etc (through increased strata fees). If you're bringing in this "Wet Homeless Housing" with zero rezoning or public input, then I request the BC Housing provide a Cash Relief Fund to assist the Owners and Strata Corporations with these damages and extra security costs that they will incur.

    Brenda S Asked 4 months ago

    There is a tendency for the general public to associate crime with people experiencing homelessness. There are two sides to maintaining a sense of public safety in areas where people experiencing homelessness congregate, it’s a balance between connecting people with social supports and enforcing the law when criminal activity happens. The City and law enforcement works on crime reduction but safety is a shared responsibility. If you have current concerns about safety, please visit this link to learn about how to direct your inquiries: https://www.kelowna.ca/city-services/safety-emergency-services/safety-who-call


    BC Housing’s supportive housing buildings are operated based on the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. People are first provided safe and stable housing so that they may then have opportunity to address other personal challenges. Residents at these sites, and all other supportive housing buildings that BC Housing is affiliated with, will be supported by staff in the decisions they make about their health and lifestyle. This includes taking a harm reduction approach, which means staff is available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use and the building will be set up with the ability to provide a safe consumption space for residents only, to ensure the safety of residents who are active substance users. When residents are ready to make a change, staff on site will connect them with the appropriate support services. BC Housing’s goal is to provide programs and services for residents that seek to break the cycle of homelessness.


    BC Housing and our partners work together to ensure the needs of a resident are well matched to the types of support services provided. Supportive housing offers a variety of potential support services, and staff are well-trained to provide the right support to residents based on their individually assessed needs. Residents will have access to counselling, as well as health, mental health, and addiction recovery services through Interior Health.


    Research has shown that supportive housing results in improvements for residents, including increased housing stability, improved quality of life, improved health, positive community relations, and reduced use of emergency health services: https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Supportive-Housing-Resident-Outcomes-Summary-Report.pdf



  • Due to this facility opening will the temporary camp that has been opened on recreation ave be decommissioned? When this camp opened the members of this neighborhood were not given any notice, voice, or reassurance as to the effects it would have on the people living in this community - since opening, we have now seen an increase in crime in the neighborhood. Many members of the community are concerned with the new building going up and the lack of conversation surrounding it (aside from this platform) - it is leaving people with a sense of unease and fear that this additional housing will not help, but will make the problem worse.

    Keeley Asked 4 months ago

    There is a tendency for the general public to associate crime with people experiencing homelessness. There are two sides to maintaining a sense of public safety in areas where people experiencing homelessness congregate, it’s a balance between connecting people with social supports and enforcing the law when criminal activity happens. The City and law enforcement works on crime reduction but safety is a shared responsibility. If you have current concerns about safety, please visit this link to learn about how to direct your inquiries: https://www.kelowna.ca/city-services/safety-emergency-services/safety-who-call


     The City of Kelowna has confirmed that the Recreation Avenue temporary overnight sheltering site will close this fall. Outreach workers have been attending the camp regularly and will continue to do so, assessing the individual needs of the campers and support services they require. Individuals from Recreation Avenue and others in the community experiencing homelessness will move into various supportive housing locations or shelter spaces across Kelowna as units and spaces become available. We do our best to ensure there is a mix of residents in a supportive housing building, some who are able to function relatively independently and some who require higher supports. We are intentional about the mix of residents so staff are better able to meet the needs of all residents and ensure appropriate management of the building.

     The plan for Ellis Street is not a facility, but 38 new homes with supports provided on-site, for people currently staying in shelters and outdoors to move into stable and secure housing. Supportive housing offers a variety of potential support services, and staff are well-trained to provide the right support to residents based on their individually assessed needs. Residents will have access to counselling, as well as health, mental health, and addiction recovery services through Interior Health.

  • Good Evening, just curious if this facility is designed/aimed to be 'wet' or 'dry'?

    Kelly Hutchinson Asked 4 months ago

    Ellis Street will provide 38 homes for people with low-incomes over the age of 19 who live in the community, have a history of homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and who need additional support services to maintain housing. This housing will not be a facility or a shelter, it is housing with supports. Residents will make this their home, pay rent and be provided support to assist with their successful tenancy. Like residents across the City in market housing, people will make their own choices in regards to lifestyle, and this includes the decision to abstain or use drugs/alcohol in the privacy of their home. BC Housing’s supportive housing buildings are operated based on the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. If they choose to use, CMHA Kelowna will work with each resident to ensure that they use safely. We take a harm reduction approach, which means staff is available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use and the building will be set up with the ability to provide a safe consumption space for residents only, to ensure the safety of residents who are active substance users. When residents are ready to make a change, staff on site will connect them with the appropriate support services.

  • Why are there not more low income housing for us that are on a disability that have to pay full rents.

    cher Asked 4 months ago

    Ellis Street will be supportive housing, because there is an urgent need for housing for supports for people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna. The current pandemic has made it even more clear that Kelowna is in urgent need of more homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness. These 38 homes represent a chance for 38 people to move from living outside or in shelters into stable and secure housing.  

    More housing is needed, and BC Housing will continue to work with the City of Kelowna and local partners to develop a range of housing options. For example, BC Housing currently has 136 new supportive housing units in development or under construction (including Ellis Street), and 141 new affordable rental housing units for families, seniors and people with disabilities in development of under construction, in Kelowna. 

    For information about what housing you may eligible for, please visit https://programfinder.bchousing.org/