Does City of Courtenay need ‘high-priced imported experts?’

Dear editor,

Talk about putting the cart before the horse again.

Dear editor,

Talk about putting the cart before the horse again.

It seems that the recently purchased land on Braidwood is going to have some opposition if it is used for a homeless shelter.

The mayor envisages about 40 single-room occupancy homes and over the next few months a consultant has been hired to prepare a request for proposals, on the viability of establishing a housing complex to support the homeless.

He will also report back on a range of housing options for the site, presumably in case the neighbourhood residents oppose the main purpose of this exercise.

It seems to me that rather than get stuck again with another site that may not be suitable for a shelter, it would have been prudent to make a conditional offer to purchase the land, subject to neighbourhood approval/rezoning. At the same time, a list of the different housing options and priorities should have been established.

I gained some experience on similar issues In 1965 when I was hired by the Yukon government to help administer a low-cost housing program in the Whitehorse area.

One of the responsibilities was an attempt to move people from temporary shelters erected along the banks of the Yukon River in areas known as Whiskey Flats and Sleepy Hollow. The structures were assessed and the occupants were given cash on the condition that the structures would be removed.

You can guess what happened. The cash was used for living expenses and materials were scrounged to build another structure.

I seemed to recall that the quality of construction improved over time and some  of these homeless people graduated to the next program — a low-cost housing option for low-income couples with no down payment.

The homes were very modest — around 1,000 square feet — with a central space heater. Low-interest first mortgages were provided and they were constructed on individual subsidized lots in rural subdivisions to NBC standards. The program was very successful.

I would recommend that the planning department study the report I submitted to the mayor concerning a practicum by Blaine Russell, titled Understanding the role of Recreational Vehicles and Park Model Trailers as an Alternative Housing Option, dated Dec. 13, 2006.

There is widespread use of this type of accommodation in every community on Vancouver Island, including Courtenay.

I am sure that there are many people living in the area with useful knowledge to help on these types of projects, instead of paying high-priced imported experts to advise the City.

Incidentally, with the growth of the planning and engineering departments  at City Hall, you would think that these highly qualified employees should be able to take care of the surveys, etc.

Brian Woodason,

Courtenay

Editor’s note: No decision has been made for a homeless shelter at the Braidwood site.

 

Just Posted

Comox resident proposes golf course conversion to park

A Comox resident is hoping he’s not the only one who would… Continue reading

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Crown Isle acquires Longlands Golf Course

The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community just got a little bit… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Lawyer fired in B.C. courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident near Nanaimo, B.C.

Most Read