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VIDEO: More 'beautification' to come for temporary transitional housing site on Hwy 97

Kelowna City Manager Doug Gilchrist said criticism over the latest transitional housing project in the community is premature.

He agreed to take some questions about the project that's nearing completion on the 2700 block of Hwy 97 North.

"Never judge a project until it's complete," said Gilchrist. "That would be my message to anyone who's criticizing that."

Gilchrist shared his thoughts while attending the groundbreaking for a new park this week.

"We're sitting here in a park that's under construction," he pointed out. "It doesn't look great, but it will when it's done."

And his defence of the project didn't stop there.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

"That project is a rapid build to address an acute need for people who were out of housing and need some shelter," said Gilchrist.

"Once it's complete it will definitely have some beautification. There's some cladding that will go on that wall. There's some plantings that will go in."

But, at the same time, he doesn't want to get expectations too high.

"It will look better. Probably not an architectural marvel as a modular temporary housing space, but it will definitely look better."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

Gilchrist said the project is getting more than the usual amount of public interest because of its place on a high-traffic corridor.

"Ideally we want that corridor to be really aesthetically pleasing for tourists and businesses and everyone else," he said.

"But at times there are other uses that are important as well, and sometimes they conflict."

The project has been earmarked for seniors and disabled people experiencing homelessness.

They are expected to begin to take up residence in the modular homes as early as May 15.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>



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