A British Columbia city says its tiny home village will be a temporary solution to the city’s growing homelessness crisis.
In collaboration with the province, Kelowna has built 60 single-room tiny homes, each spanning 60 square feet, along the 700 block of Crowley Ave. in the north end.
The pilot project will assess how effective tiny homes could be as a response to the growing homeless population in British Columbia.
According to Mayor Tom Dyas, the city will work with local residents to address concerns about the village being erected near residential homes.
“We’re now meeting with the team that has been structured here … on a quarterly basis,” he said.
“Recognizing that there are concerns in the neighbourhood, we want to do everything we can to address those concerns.”
Operated by the John Howard Society of Okanagan and Kootenay, a non-profit organization, the tiny homes will come with daily meals, skills training and assistance in securing more permanent housing.
The selection process for residents will prioritize those currently living in shelters or encampments, with the goal of reducing the number of individuals forced to sleep outdoors. The village is slated to be ready for occupancy in early February.
In addition to the current initiative, the province has disclosed plans to construct an additional 60 modular units at a second site on Highway 97 North.
The specific details of this second site will be announced once confirmed.
Kelowna faces a growing challenge of homelessness, ranking among the Interior’s areas with the highest homelessness rates.