A Vernon councillor has put out a notice of motion requesting an audit of all BC Housing projects in the city. Council will review at its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (BC Housing photo)

A Vernon councillor has put out a notice of motion requesting an audit of all BC Housing projects in the city. Council will review at its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (BC Housing photo)

Vernon councillor calls for audit of city’s supportive housing projects

The city’s largest supportive housing non-profit opposes the audit, which would temporarily suspend all projects

A Vernon councillor is calling for a review and temporary suspension of local supportive housing projects, putting him at odds with the city’s leading supportive housing organization.

In a notice of motion, Coun. Scott Anderson plans to request council to support a City of Penticton motion, which calls for an independent audit of BC Housing-funded projects.

Specifically, the motion requested that the province hire a third party to audit one specific Penticton BC Housing project to see if “sufficient actions had been taken to support those in need of housing and what the impact of these housing projects have been on the community,” as reads the notice of motion in the city’s agenda for council Monday (Feb. 22).

The motion also requests that BC Housing not apply for a development at 3240 Skaha Lake Road until the audit is completed and made public, and that an audit of the city’s entire BC Housing stock be done.

READ MORE: Penticton wants to prioritize local homeless over ‘transients’

Stipulations for the audit include that it use an independent third party to find which psychiatric services are currently offered at Vernon supportive housing locations, if any, as well as wait times to access them. The audit would need to provide an impact assessment for surrounding areas, and a “measurable account of outcomes of patients in the existing projects.”

In response to the notice of motion, Turning Points Collaborative Society took to Facebook to voice its opposition. Vernon’s largest organization for supportive housing and outreach services, Turning Points responded to Coun. Anderson’s motion with a call to arms.

“We believe that this motion would do nothing more than cause disruption in our community’s strong relationship with BC Housing, create a distraction for city staff and elected officials, cost the province an enormous amount of money, and potentially put vulnerable lives at risk,” the society’s Feb. 19 post states.

Turning Points further argues the audit will impose unnecessary hurdles for a service that has recently shown positive results at the expense of provincial taxpayers.

“We all know how effective and transformative My Place supportive housing is for residents, and that the access to services provided there has changed many lives. We also know that in the past several years, homelessness and crime in our city is down, and that access to housing has been the key contributor,” the post reads.

“Homelessness on our streets is down. Crime on our streets is down. Why question something that is working so well?”

The motion will be decided on at council’s Monday (Feb. 22) regular meeting.

In the meantime, Turning Points urged the public to review the motion on the City of Vernon council agenda web portal, and to contact city councillors to give them their thoughts.

READ MORE: Highway 97A closed south of Enderby

affordable housingBC Housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lori Jantz snapped this picture of a fight between a bald eagle and an osprey above Osoyoos Lake on Friday. (Lori Jantz photo)
Battle in the sky erupts above South Okanagan lake

Bald eagle and osprey fight mid-air in Osoyoos

This garbage bin behind a strip mall in Skaha Lake Road was set alight on Friday night at 11 p.m. The foam from firefighters can be seen on the ground. (Facebook)
Dumpster fire comes too close to Penticton seniors’ complex

One resident worries Penticton might have a fire bug

Theo's now delivering to Summerland
Penticton Greek restaurant now delivering to Summerland

Theo’s restaurant is the first to deliver food to Summerland in their ‘Squidmobile’

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Firefighters responded to a house fire on Banks Crescent in Summerland on Friday afternoon. The fire began as a stovetop fire but resulted in significant damages. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Fire results in damage to Summerland home

Crews called on Friday, April 9 following stovetop fire

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Most Read