Former youth centre eyed for temporary transitional housing in Summerland

Housing in old youth club?

The District of Summerland will be considering taking the former SADI building and renovating it to accommodate temporary transitional housing on Monday.

The former youth centre, located at 9117 Prairie Valley Road, could be eligible for funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) “Strengthening Communities’ Services Program.” The building was closed in September, 2019 and has remained unoccupied.

The District could receive $450,000 in grant funding to provide temporary resources in addressing the unsheltered homeless population.

The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre (SFBRC) was approached by district staff for the project and suggested using the SADI building, which they had previously expressed interest in using.

Plans for turning it into a temporary housing space would include creating single occupancy rooms for individuals that are homeless, two units set aside to at-risk families, an office space and a shared kitchen.

SFBRC would provide the short-term housing for people in need until they could find an alternative long-term housing solution, not use the space for long-term tenancy arrangements.

“Although there is still uncertainty in the consideration of pursuing renovations for the SADI building, staff see the value of potentially utilizing this grant opportunity to upgrade a deficient, existing District asset to meet a clear community need, such as provision of transitional housing for people “at-risk” of homelessness,” the report recommendation from staff reads.

Staff believe there is limited risk in applying for the grant and seeing if the funding can be secured. If the District were successful, a more thorough invasive inspection of the SADI building can occur at that time, prior to the District moving forward with the renovations.

If the building is decided to be not worth the upgrades required, the funds could be considered to be reallocated to another temporary building or project.

Summerland council will be discussing the grant application on Monday.

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