Minutes of the Meeting of the Supportive Housing Site Review Task Force
Date: January 11, 2006
Location: Council Chambers, City of Kelowna
Present: Judy Good Sky (United Way), Weldon Leblanc (Chamber of Commerce),
James Munro (BC Housing), Pat Munro (Kelowna South Central
Association of Neighbourhoods & North End Residents’ Association), Clay
Williams (DKA), Ira Roness (Interior Health), Brad Dunlop (Rutland
Residents’ Association & Rutland Town Centre), Ian Graham
(Homelessness Steering Committee), Rick Miller (Hwy 97/Springfield
Town Centre), Marguerite Sisett (South Pandosy Town Centre) Theresa
Eichler (City representative)
Regrets: Joni Metherell (Citizen at Large) & Randy Murray (Interior Health)
City Staff: David Shipclark
BC Housing staff: Ashley Chester
• T. Eichler announced the Task Force is an open Public Meeting, and told members of the
Public how they can be involved with the Task Force.
• A Website for the Task Force was announced.
• Task Force Members introduced themselves and the organizations that they represent.
Motioned by B. Dunlop
THAT the Supportive Housing Site Review Task Force nominates T. Eichler as Acting
Chairperson for this meeting in the absence of the Chair
2. Terms of Reference
• The City Clerk’s office reviewed the Task Force’s Terms of Reference and gave a
description of the legal framework of the Task Force, including how to address conflict of
• Minutes will be available to members of the public and to Task Force members. Minutes
will reflect not a verbatim account of the Task Force’s proceedings, but a general
description of what occurred at each meeting.
3. Preferred meeting day and time was established by consensus as Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m.
4. Project & History of Premier’s Task Force (BC Housing)
• J. Munro provided a brief history of the Premier’s Task Force. A summary of this history
was passed out to members of the Task Force & one will be provided to the press.
• T. Eichler provided an overview of the City’s involvement with the PTF. She outlined the
role of the City as a partner in the 30-unit housing development.
• J. Munro clarified how the Project will be owned & run. BC Housing will own the head
lease and will sublet to a non-profit society, Interior Health will look after programs &
services. The non-profit society will be responsible for managing the housing.. J. Munro
clarified there is a standard housing agreement the terms of which will be modified if
5. Supportive Housing Service Model & Location Criteria
• I. Roness reviewed Interior Health’s role in the Project. Interior Health will provide
counselling and will staff it with 24-hour community living support workers. The Model
being followed is a harm reduction model which does not require abstinence This model is
being chosen because it has positive effects with clientele; requires fewer visits to detox &
hospitals; is incorporated within general client practice and is more cost effective. Further,
the city has few “Wet Housing” Providers. This facility would be wet housing on all floors.
• The differences between dry, damp & wet housing were clarified: Dry housing – no
substances are used on or off site. This model is effective for some, but not all clientele.
Damp housing does not allow substance use on site, but does allow it off site. This model,
although may be effective to some, has left some problems of users not using on site, but
using within the surrounding neighbourhood. Wet housing – people may use on or off site;
however, individuals must show a commitment to engaging in services provided in order to
stay in the program.
• W. Leblanc clarified with I. Roness that clients are allowed to use within the facility. There
will be a program agreement with individuals, and there is an expectation to engage in
services. I. Roness explained that Interior Health has research from several facilities
throughout Vancouver, Canada & the USA. He would be happy to make this research
available to Committee members. Interior Health feels that Wet Housing is needed in
• B. Dunlop clarified with I. Roness whether Wet Housing research conducted by IHA is
available to community members via the IHA website, however, I. Roness is happy to
make the information available to the public through other media. B. Dunlop noted that he
knows a couple of high profile members of the community who are against the Wet
Housing model. I. Roness stated that he is familiar with this. He commented that
abstinence does work for some people, but not for everybody, so the Wet Model helps
those who can’t quite make the leap right away. This is an extremely difficult thing for
people to go through, and not all people can just simply quit immediately. Members will
hear many people who say the dry model worked for them, but we must remember this
doesn’t work for everybody. M. Sisett asked about people she knew who would not access
the facility because there will be drug addicts there. I. Roness restated that this facility will
not be for everybody and that other resources are still available for those people as well.
• P. Munro clarified with T. Eichler that when the City staff was looking for sites for this PTF
development, the preferred location was selected through a process of elimination, in
terms of land the City already owns. The site was also selected in terms of what the client
• I. Roness explained that this needs to be within walking distance of the service the client is
currently using, including: Outreach Health Services (alcohol & drug counselling), Health
Unit (mental health), Kelowna Food Bank, Kelowna Drop-in Centre, and access to
transportation (bus). People will be living there for a period of up to two years, so they will
need access to transportation, employment services, et cetera. The further you remove
them from these services, the harder it will be for them to live independently.
• M. Sisett clarified with I. Roness that each client will have their own unique program
agreement with Interior Health, based on their specific circumstances. They can fail one or
two times on this agreement so longs as they show the commitment to adhere to the
• C. Williams commented that he is concerned that there seems to be a cycle of services
locating downtown, and then other services locating downtown based on the location of
the initial services, and so on. I. Roness responded that the main services have chosen
the downtown because that is where most of the clientele spend their time.
• B. Dunlop asked if this will be the first of many projects to be seen in Kelowna. There is
not a simple response to this question. It depends on funding availability. I. Roness noted
that last year’s census on homelessness found approximately 420 homeless in Kelowna;
however, that number has clearly grown and there will likely be an increased demand for
• W. Leblanc commented that there is no long term strategy in terms of this kind of service
delivery in the community. This concerns him that the proposal is reactive and piecemeal.
T. Eichler advised that the directive of the Site Review Committee is to look at this one
project and this particular project is long term and part of a great deal of planning on needs
for housing and homelessness. This model is what is being needed right now and likely to
continue to be in demand in the future.
• I. Roness clarified that Interior Health will only be looking after the programs and services
and not after the housing aspect of the facility.
• A. Chester stated that Minister Coleman (Housing) is working on a comprehensive housing
strategy to address various needs across the province. This particular development is a
result of input from various communities on homelessness which the Premier responded to
through the Task Force, it is based on existing research.
• D. Shipclark noted that the concept of grouping facilities together geographically is a
negative from the City’s perspective. They wouldn’t want social service facilities located
together just as they wouldn’t want a social service provider to locate next to a night club.
• In response to W. Leblanc City staff clarified that the City cannot create zoning to stop
liquor establishments & social services from locating next to one another, as Provincial
legislation prevents this. Liquor licensing allows more control over liquor-licensed
6. Scope of the Work
• A table of the five meetings and what is to be accomplished within them was passed out to
Task Force Members. Members were asked to provide input to City Staff on changes to
the table. T. Eichler reviewed Site Selection Criteria and provided a table of those criteria,
outlining what will be mandatory, and explaining the other criteria. Once the Task Force
has established a preferred site, that recommendation will be passed on to Council to
make the final decision. Staff is available to do the legwork, but will require input from the
Task Force as to what sites are the most suitable.
• M. Sisett clarified with J. Munro that the timeline for the project is to have a housing
provider and a site coming together starting in March, so they can present preliminary
designs and apply for a development permit in the summer. BC Housing would like to
project completed by the end of 2007, which is a tight timeline.
• T. Eichler outlined the scope of work with the Task Force:
− Review existing site selection criteria and provide appropriate weightings.
− Review the existing site and any available alternatives provided by the public in
relation to the criteria.
− Report back to the funding partners including City Council regarding the recommended
site on or around March 13, 2006.
• T. Eichler reviewed the Location Criteria per a list provided to the Task Force members
and asked for their input:
− P. Munro asked if there were any criteria for Green Space.
− C. Williams clarified with T. Eichler that Mandatory location criteria is not necessarily
as dependent upon funding as it is on meeting the timeline committed to the PTF by
− W. Leblanc clarified with T. Eichler that appropriate zoning is a mandatory requirement
because zoning is a public process, so they could go through the process and not get
the zoning when they are done.
− J. Munro commented that lot size is irrelevant because the zoning would have to
already support a 30-unit housing development.
− Roness clarified with T. Eichler that City Owned & Available Land is different from
Clear Title because the lot chosen by the Task Force can be owned by someone other
than the City, so long as the City can own the land by March 31, 2006.
− P. Munro clarified with City Staff that although floor area ratio is more of a factor than
lot size in terms of the location, the lot size will likely be around 1/3rd of an acre.
• D. Shipclark noted that City Staff are available to Members to clarify any of the technical
points. He asked the Task Force to forward their ideas onto City Staff and they’ll make
sure it gets forwarded onto everyone. T. Eichler will ensure that Members also receive
each others’ contact information.
• J. Munro noted that they would also like a clear definition from the Task Force as to the
subjective terms of location criteria. For example, “convenience to transit” is not defined.
Staff has provided the Task Force with the BC Transit maximum walking distance of 800
meters; however, the Task Force should provide its own standards and reasoning.
7. Next Meeting & Adjournment
The Next Task Force meeting will be Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. in Council
M. Sisett motioned to adjourn the meeting at 5:21 p.m.