Dear Editor of The Daily Courier;
While I want to recognize MLA Norm Let nick for his work that he outlines in your paper to support people experiencing homelessness, I seriously question his idea that governments and supportive agencies should hit the pause button while people are still living on the streets with no support.
How does he think we find ourselves in this situation in the first place?
The actions or, more accurately, inaction of his government created a housing crisis where even families and people with good jobs are struggling to afford housing or are at risk of becoming homeless.
We cannot ask the hundreds of people in Kelowna without homes today to wait any longer.
Our government is working with cities like Kelowna, and other partners, to take quick action to address their needs using the proven Housing First approach – providing people with a roof over their heads and the services they need. We’ve learned from the more than 1,400 homes already completed across the province that building supportive housing, complete with wrap-around services, benefits the entire community.
I want to assure people in Rutland that we are committed to working with the community to address their concerns. The most important security feature, both for residents and the community, is 24-hour, 7-days-a-week staffing. Staff at the McCurdy Road project will be available around the clock to ensure that residents are supported and that any concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
The 49 homes on McCurdy Road are just one piece of our broader efforts to address the housing needs of a range of people in Kelowna. We are working in partnership to build more than 500 homes in the community, including affordable rental homes for families, seniors and Indigenous peoples, transition homes for women and children leaving violence and rental homes for middle-income families.
We will continue to work closely with the city and community partners to make sure everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing