The former Polson Park Motel in Vernon has been purchased by the province to house the homeless.
The site will provide 29 permanent homes with supports for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, the province says in a press release.
BC Housing is investing $2.6 million to purchase and renovate the motel, which was bought below appraised value.
BC Housing will also provide an annual operating subsidy of approximately $1 million.
The site had been leased by BC Housing since April 2020 as temporary housing for vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current residents will be able to remain in the building, the province says.
“With this purchase, we are continuing to add to the significant efforts underway to ensure vulnerable people in Vernon have access to stable and permanent housing,” MLA Harwinder Sandhu said.
Turning Points Collaborative Society will continue operating the building.
The society will provide residents with support services, including daily meals, life skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental-health resources, and access to addiction treatment and recovery services.
Full-time staff will provide residents with around-the-clock support.
“As we slowly come out of the pandemic, we recognize that the need for affordable housing services in Vernon is greater than ever,” Turning Points executive director Randene Wejr said.
“Inflation, the lack of affordable housing units, and a growing waitlist have meant more and more families and seniors are on the verge of homelessness.”
Sandhu said government “will continue to work with the City of Vernon and local partners like Turning Points on temporary and permanent housing options to bring people inside—because we know that when vulnerable people have stable housing with supports, including access to health care and skills training, it leads to healthier and safer communities for everyone.”
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