Westside - Kelowna Region - 3235 Cougar Road

Illustrative rendering, birds-eye view of Cougar Road building site.

This drawing is an approximation of what we propose to construct on the site and is subject to change.

Overview

BC Housing is working with Turning Points Collaborative Society (TPCS) on an idea to bring new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

Community Engagement

We hosted a virtual Neighbourhood Information Session on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 for the community to learn more, ask questions, and provide feedback to the project team. You can watch a recording of the session below and download the presentation slides in the Document Library section.

On December 14, Westbank First Nation Chief and Council met to discuss the land use amendment and rezoning application. At that time, they decided to defer the application to 2021 to re-evaluate the idea and allow time for enhanced engagement with their members.

BC Housing is committed to strengthening our relationship with Westbank First Nation. We are in discussions with Westbank First Nation, have heard their concerns and will be launching expanded engagement early in 2021. We are also pursuing an official relationship agreement to establish a collaborative framework for working together, not just on this proposal, but for the future.

We look forward to collaborating with Westbank First Nation to deliver much needed supportive housing that would be available to Westbank First Nation members, as well as the surrounding community.

Project Details

The idea is to build approximately 52 new permanent purpose-built homes with supports at 3235 Cougar Road to meet critical community housing needs.

The 2018 Westside Point-In-Time found 72 people experiencing homelessness. COVID-19 highlighted the critical need to bring people inside. These new homes would help provide a safe place for people who don’t have a home.

TPCS is an experienced non-profit society providing housing and support services to people experiencing homelessness in the region. They would operate the building and provide residents with supports such as meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services. Staff would be onsite 24/7, working with each resident to understand their needs and goals and providing the support they need to have housing stability.

BC Housing and TPCS would select residents in collaboration with local service providers. All new residents would pay rent and sign a program agreement and good neighbour agreement.

This drawing is an approximation of what we propose to construct on the site and is subject to change.

Overview

BC Housing is working with Turning Points Collaborative Society (TPCS) on an idea to bring new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

Community Engagement

We hosted a virtual Neighbourhood Information Session on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 for the community to learn more, ask questions, and provide feedback to the project team. You can watch a recording of the session below and download the presentation slides in the Document Library section.

On December 14, Westbank First Nation Chief and Council met to discuss the land use amendment and rezoning application. At that time, they decided to defer the application to 2021 to re-evaluate the idea and allow time for enhanced engagement with their members.

BC Housing is committed to strengthening our relationship with Westbank First Nation. We are in discussions with Westbank First Nation, have heard their concerns and will be launching expanded engagement early in 2021. We are also pursuing an official relationship agreement to establish a collaborative framework for working together, not just on this proposal, but for the future.

We look forward to collaborating with Westbank First Nation to deliver much needed supportive housing that would be available to Westbank First Nation members, as well as the surrounding community.

Project Details

The idea is to build approximately 52 new permanent purpose-built homes with supports at 3235 Cougar Road to meet critical community housing needs.

The 2018 Westside Point-In-Time found 72 people experiencing homelessness. COVID-19 highlighted the critical need to bring people inside. These new homes would help provide a safe place for people who don’t have a home.

TPCS is an experienced non-profit society providing housing and support services to people experiencing homelessness in the region. They would operate the building and provide residents with supports such as meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services. Staff would be onsite 24/7, working with each resident to understand their needs and goals and providing the support they need to have housing stability.

BC Housing and TPCS would select residents in collaboration with local service providers. All new residents would pay rent and sign a program agreement and good neighbour agreement.

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  • Is this going to be voted on by the Westbank First Nation membership? What is the security for the surrounding land owner and if they are wanting to develop their land in the future? Is this just one of the sites that is proposed for this project?

    Okanagan Member asked 5 months ago

    Westbank First Nation (WFN) is going through the appropriate consultation channels as laid out in their Business and Development principles.

    Please review the video posted on our Let’s Talk site from November, and in particular, the WFN rezoning process.

  • I have no issue with this project. There is potential benefit to WFN members especially our most vulnerable members. I would want the negotiation of units designated specifically for WFN members. I do not support any property tax break unless it provides significant guarantees for WFN housing. My understanding is that the survey of homeless done on the Westside in 2018 the total of homeless was 72(40 were WFN) I do not see our community doing anything to address this need of our members.

    Pamela Barnes asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your support of the project you reference on Westbank First Nation (WFN) lands. 

    BC Housing is working with Turning Points Collaborative Society (TPCS) on a proposal to bring much needed new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness on the west side of Okanagan Lake. 

    You are correct that the 2018 Point in Time count identified at least 72 people without a home and approximately 20% were from WFN. 

    There are conversations underway to determine how we can deliver much needed supportive housing that would be available to Westbank First Nation members, as well as the surrounding community.

    More information about this can be found in the engagement video for the Cougar Road project.

    Please note that at approximately the one-hour, five-minute mark of the video, there is significant discussion about the WFN connection. 

  • Would there be work opportunities? Both in construction and in the running and implication of programming as well as policy creation for the center?

    RavenSong asked 3 months ago

    Turning Points Collaborative Society will be responsible for property and operations management, including 24/7 on-site staff, for the Cougar Road development. You can reach out directly to them regarding programming opportunities.

    Further information about doing business with BC Housing can be found on our website here: https://www.bchousing.org/about/doing-business

  • Great way to destroy the area. We don't want rift raff running around breaking into our homes and making a mess of the community. Set something up on the other side of the bridge.

    Jb asked 3 months ago

    Residents of supportive housing are just as diverse, and worthy of respect, as the people living in the rest of the community. 

    Those eligible for supportive housing may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, or people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. Incoming residents of supportive housing should not be assumed to have criminal tendencies or wish to bring trouble to the neighbourhood. 

    All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    People without homes are often only able to focus on basic survival needs, but once in supportive housing, public disturbances decline as people go through a stabilization period and transition from survival mode and living on the streets into having their own home. Supportive housing is managed by experienced non-profit housing operators who can support people through this transition.

    BC Housing and the non-profit operator are committed to working with neighbours to help create a safe,  healthy and inclusive community.

  • will this be a wet shelter ? will this only be for band members? will this being so close to my home brong my property value down?

    blaise asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing’s supportive housing buildings are operated based on the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. Residents at these sites, and all other supportive housing buildings that BC Housing is affiliated with, are permitted to make their own choices in regard to lifestyle. This includes the decision to abstain or use drugs/alcohol in the privacy of their homes.

    We take a harm reduction approach, which means staff is available to support any residents who are ready to make a change to healthier life choices and connect them with the appropriate support services.

    The 2018 Point in Time homelessness count identified 72 people without a home and over 40% were from Westbank First Nation (WFN). 

    There are conversations underway to determine how we can deliver much needed supportive housing that would be available to Westbank First Nation members, as well as the surrounding community.

    People who apply to live here will need to meet eligibility requirements around income, homelessness and required supports. BC Housing assesses applicants based on the urgency of their housing need. 

    Residents would be low-income individuals over the age of 19 who already live in the community, have a history of homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and need additional support services to maintain housing.

    We often hear concerns about property values in relation to non-market housing. BC Housing commissioned research completed in 2019 of 13 B.C. supportive housing sites showed that property values immediately surrounding 10 supportive housing sites either kept pace or surpassed surrounding municipal trends. 

    Property values for the other three sites were not notably different compared to municipal trends. 

  • Are these homes only for homeless people? Or are these homes being sold to people looking to move to the area?

    Michael asked 3 months ago

    These are provincially funded homes being built as supportive housing, which offers an opportunity for people to leave the streets and shelter system for safe and stable housing towards improved quality of life. 

    People will apply to live here; they are not for sale. 

    Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with various support services provided on-site, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. 

    Supports could include outreach workers, life skills training, employment assistance, connection and referral to community services and support groups. All residents would sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement) and would pay rent.

    Those eligible for supportive housing may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, or people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. 

    People who apply to live here will need to meet eligibility requirements around income, homelessness and required supports. BC Housing assesses applicants based on the urgency of their housing need.

  • Can you tell me if the residents will be able to use drugs on/in the facility? I live in Cougar Road and my concern in the drug dealers hanging around looking to sell their poison.

    Concerned resident. asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing’s supportive housing buildings are operated based on the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. Residents at these sites, and all other supportive housing buildings that BC Housing is affiliated with, are permitted to make their own choices in regard to lifestyle. This includes the decision to abstain or use drugs/alcohol in the privacy of their homes. 

    If they choose to use, the operators would work with each tenant to ensure 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 would 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.

    It is important to note that not everyone who moves into supportive housing is struggling with addiction or substance use. However, addiction is a health condition and illness, and we must treat it as such and provide solutions. People without homes are often only able to focus on basic survival needs. Our priority is to meet people where they are in their journey and assist them in moving forward, by:

    •  Step one –moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing.
    •  Step two – providing additional supports, services, guidance and encouragement as needed.

    BC Housing does not discriminate against a person based on their level of need. Residents of supportive housing are assessed to ensure they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and live a more healthy, stable life.

  • Will there be a secure and safe injection site within the housing complex?

    Martin Goodyear asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing’s supportive housing buildings are operated based on the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. 

    Residents at these sites, and all other supportive housing buildings that BC Housing is affiliated with, are permitted to make their own choices in regard to lifestyle. 

    This includes the decision to abstain or use drugs/alcohol in the privacy of their homes. If they choose to use, the operators would work with each tenant to ensure 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 would 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. 

    The operator would work with Interior Health in determining best practices to ensure tenants are safe and healthy. When residents are ready to make a change, staff on site would connect them with the appropriate support services.

  • Hello. I have two questions: 1. How was this location targeted? And, what other locations were considered and ruled out? This location is not near public transportation and would have tenants accessing either via Carrington Road or Cougar Road, the two roads that bookend the Sage Creek Development. At first impression, this location seems "removed" and not easy to access. 2. In the "Overview of Strategies from Case Studies of Supportive Housing Sites in BC" document it states that nearly 4,700 calls were made to police during the 6 months prior to opening, and just over 3,800 calls were made to police within 6 months after opening. Are you able to provide a sampling of the kinds of "before" and "after" concerns neighbours expressed to the various police agencies? Thank you.

    Stephen L asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing looks to acquire property based on where there is an urgent need for more housing. 

    We have been working on identifying a site to build permanent purpose-built supportive housing in this area since the 2018 Point in Time count revealed over 72 individuals without a home. A site has recently been identified on Westbank First Nation land – 3235 Cougar Road.

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are, providing connection to the resources that people need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. 

    Access to community services is key for people without homes, but so is feeling part of a neighbourhood and community. People experiencing homelessness are already here as part of the community; we want to help them find safe and stable housing in the community and bring people inside from the streets.

    Part of the reason that public disturbances decrease in a neighbourhood with purpose-built supportive housing is that people who are struggling to live on the streets are moved inside into a safe home they can call their own and can begin to focus on stabilizing their lives. 

    BC Housing’s Design and Construction Standards consider Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) of all new purpose-built supportive housing. This approach includes an assessment to ensure CPTED features are included such as maximizing views of parking areas, entrances, sidewalks and other public spaces, and would include security features, such as cameras, fob entry, fencing, gates and lighting. 

    The building would have staff onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that residents are supported and that any concerns are addressed in the timely manner.

    The report you reference does outline some of the neighbour concerns prior to development of supportive housing. A deeper dive into some of those case studies can be found on BC Housing’s website, including the Cardington Apartments in Kelowna.  

  • Where is the transportation point, as the closest is about 10 blks away!

    D Robinson asked 3 months ago

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are, providing connection to the resources that people need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. Access to community services is key for people without homes, but so is feeling part of a neighbourhood and community. 

    People experiencing homelessness are already here as part of the community; we want to help them find safe and stable housing in the community and bring people inside from the streets.

    The nearest bus stop is 450 metres from the proposed site, or approximately 5 to 10 minute walk. The non-profit operator will work with residents on any transportation requirements. Supportive housing provides on-site supports and programming but will also connect individuals to off-site community health services.