Land donation paved way for 322 homes for low-income Kelowna residents
- RON SEYMOUR Jan 28, 2022 Updated 17 hrs ago
One of the Apple Valley housing projects built by the Kelowna-based Society of Hope housing society, opened in 2014, included a four lane bowling alley. It was suggested by Gordon Ziglar, who had provided the land for the housing projects free of charge.
- Daily Courier file photo
Gordon Ziglar and his wife Helen gifted land worth that much to the Society of Hope housing society more than 25 years ago.
His mom had spent her declining years in a less-than-satisfactory retirement home, and he wanted the society to build a retirement residence with more amenities to keep seniors active and engaged with one another.
More than 200 homes already exist in three buildings; the fourth and final one, the groundbreaking for which was held Friday, will be nine storeys with homes for low-income seniors, small families, singles, and people with disabilities.
The provincial government has provided $13 million for the project as part of its housing strategy, the city waived $300,000 in development fees, and CMHC assisted with pre-construction costs.
But Ziglar’s land donation was the catalyst for the entire four-building Apple Valley housing development, says Luke Stack, the Society of Hope’s executive director.
“It was an incredibly generous donation and Gordon took a bit of a chance with our society, because at that point we hadn’t been established for very long,” Stack said in an interview.
“But our size was something of the appeal for him. He thought if he gave the land to a bigger non-profit, he might sort of get squeezed out in the decision-making process in terms of what amenities would eventually be built for people living in the buildings,” Stack said.
“I told him, ‘Gordon, you can’t just come in here and start taking apart the furniture’,” Stack said. “But we worked it out.”
“Gordon inspired us to go beyond just housing,” Stack said. “That’s what we’ve tried to do.”