CVRD defers homelessness referendum matter to Sept. 29

  • Aug. 31, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

The regional district board has yet to decide about a fall referendum regarding a tax to address homelessness in the Comox Valley.

Last week, directors voted to defer the matter to the Sept. 29 board meeting.

Directors had unanimously approved a recommended referendum date of Nov. 28 at the last committee of the whole session. The board wants to wait until Comox council discusses referendum details before adopting a bylaw that would enable the vote.

The proposed question will ask voters if they favour a bylaw to establish a service to provide funds to one or more non-government organizations (NGOs), based on a plan to address homelessness. A non-binding question at the last civic election indicates 71 per cent of voters support at least a $5 annual property tax. Pending voter approval, homeowners would pay about $6 on a $300,000 home. The service would provide up to $150,000 a year for NGOs. Funding could be available by March.

Participating jurisdictions would be Courtenay, Cumberland, Area A (excluding Denman and Hornby Islands), and Areas B and C. Comox, which has established a $30,000/year fund for the function of addressing homelessness, would instead partner with service providers on its own.

 

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