Homelessness, affordable housing forum inspired by Courtenay student

The Comox Valley Housing Task Force hosts a free community forum on affordable housing and homelessness this coming Wednesday.

The Comox Valley Housing Task Force hosts a free community forum on affordable housing and homelessness this coming Wednesday at the Filberg Centre in Courtenay.

The day-long event — Building Housing Solutions Together — will address the importance of adequate housing, as well as health and well-being in the community. Along with panel discussions featuring experts from around Vancouver Island, the forum provides the public with an opportunity to share opinions and ideas.

“The intention of the day is to be a conversation so that people are learning, and they’re also participating and voicing their opinions and concerns,” said Courtenay Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard, who chairs the Comox Valley Housing Task Force. “And helping build housing solutions.”

Leonard was inspired to pursue the forum after hearing a presentation at council from Lake Trail student Rachael Jancowski, who founded a non-profit organization called Gimme Shelter to help homeless individuals.

“We want to make sure a broad range of the community will come out,” Leonard said. “We want to keep it family-friendly. We’re interested in building solutions; we’re not interested in increasing tensions.”

The itinerary includes five panel discussions:

• 11:15 a.m. Building Capacity Grant Recipients: The task force dispersed $75,000 in grant funds last year to build community capacity to address homelessness. Recipients, including the Denman Land Trust, will discuss their achievements through this fund.

• 12:30 p.m. Understanding the Issues: How does the lack of affordable housing impact the health and well-being of individuals and the community? Looking at the housing continuum, from outreach to market options, experts will discuss practices such as Housing First, supportive housing, transitional housing and emergency shelters. Speakers include Vancouver Island Health Authority medical health officer Charmaine Enns, Brad Crewsons of Pacifica Housing and representatives from BC Housing.

• 3:15 p.m. Working Together, Challenges and Successes: Leaders from Island communities will discuss common challenges and successes.

“We want to have a conversation about the potential for a ‘super regional approach,’ ” Leonard said. “Particularly homeless populations do tend to be more mobile, more transient. What happens in one community will impact another community. So how can we work better together?”

The panel includes Marika Albert from the Social Community Planning Council in Victoria.

4:30 p.m. Project Development and Gaining Acceptance: Moving forward on housing projects can be complex. Experts will discuss project development and ways in which communities can work together to support affordable housing development. BC Housing, a social planner from Nanaimo and Kevin Albers of the M’akola Housing Society will speak.

• 7:15 p.m. Alternative Housing — The Art of the Possible: What are some affordable housing options? How can we increase our affordable housing stock? How can we build a community where everyone has a home? Representatives from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will provide examples of innovative ways of building housing. In addition, Sandra Hamilton will discuss social enterprise and how it relates to building affordable housing.

The event includes a 2 p.m. play by the Black Top Players of the Eureka Support Society, and a 6 p.m. performance by Erik (Ice Blue) Eriksson. There will also be a kids’ zone, and a community sounding board where people can provide input.

The task force welcomes participation from developers.

For more information, visit www.cvhousing.ca.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One of the rescues at CATS - Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society’s new location on Knight Road in Comox. Photo by Erin Halushak
Feline rescue organization growing into new space

Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society opens new facility on Knight Road

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

VIDEO: Courtenay Nissan hosting YANA fundraiser

Courtenay Nissan is hosting a special YANA fundraiser all weekend long, from… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

The Courtenay Fire Department hopes to start a new recruit training program in mid-2021, pending Provincial Health Orders. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay Fire Department gets creative

Due to public health orders resulting from COVID, the Courtenay Fire Department… Continue reading

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read