Once again a local developer interested in the building of affordable housing has been thwarted by the City of Courtenay, this time by City council.
The proposal by Mathot Homes was unceremoniously denied by council on third reading.
There didn’t seem to be any problem after the first and second readings as both garnered unanimous support. A public hearing heard from about 20 dissenters and there was an additional petition from 60 local people, also dissenters, this in a neighbourhood of about 2,000 residents. Most talked about how bad the area was in the mid-’90s.
What happened to the so-called affordable housing supporters on council? Don’t they know that the vacancy rate for rental apartments has declined to less that 2.2 per cent?
Why is it that in Nanaimo, after the City received a 1,400+ names petition against a project, their council worked with the developer and eventually it was approved?
The City of Courtenay has steadfastly refused to accommodate any new affordable housing projects, such as the Washington Inn expansion, FourSquare Church project for families, Ninth Street project, Laurel Lodge, etc. No new rental housing has been created in more than 20 years, so is it no surprise to see homelessness rising, and that many more people are at risk of becoming homeless.
Perhaps the new council should take note! Change is urgently needed.
Editor’s note: Ted Brooks was the founding chair of the Comox Valley Commission to End Homelessness.