Early Edition with Mayor Colin Basran

On Wednesday, during AM1150’s Early Edition, Mayor Colin Basran shed some light on pressing topics in the City of Kelowna.

The Cornerstone shelter on Leon Ave. will be extending its stay until the end of June. According to Basran, the closures of Inn from the Cold and the shelter on Ellis St. are contributing factors.

“If we were to stick to March 31st and there isn’t a place for the residents of Cornerstone to go, we’d just be pushing 80 people out on the streets,” said Basran.

As residents in the shelter are placed into different housing, they will stop accepting new people and begin closing Cornerstone in April.

Basran assured residents on Agassiz Rd. that they would not see a spike in negligence, as the new supportive housing building would not be accommodating everyone from the closing shelters.

“There is a very distinct difference between shelters and supportive housing. Shelters will take anyone including the hardest to house in our community, those with the greatest amount of difficulty to deal with and perhaps the greatest mental health or addiction issues.”

Residents have to submit an application and receive approval before moving into supportive housing.

The Mayor also spoke to the Growth Scenario approved by council last December. Kelowna Council endorsed exponential growth in the downtown core to accommodate the growing population.

He said their original decision would have stopped the construction of 1,500 homes in surrounding suburban areas.

After taking a second look, Kelowna City Council decided that allowing developers to continue construction would better serve the communities residents.

Building urban centres in Black Mountain, Wildon, Kirschner and The Ponds would mean less driving for people to run daily errands and in turn reduce environmental impact.

 In the next 20 years, the City of Kelowna will need 25,000 new housing units

According to Basran, placing 5,000 units in suburban areas is minor compared to what Kelowna will need moving forward.