We received two emails today. One addressed to Mayor and Council, City of North Van and the other from a resident concerned about her own rental situation in a building recently sold to a new owner.
The common theme in both is homelessness and affordable housing. The one from the long time resident included pictures of lack of maintenance in the building, rodent infestation, mold, unsafe railings. The building residents have concerns that the building is being allowed to deteriorate in order to justify the new owners plan to demolish it.
The email to Mayor and Council follows:
Subject: A small win for Victoria’s homeless. Big implications for Canada – The Globe and MailMr Justice Hinkson, in his decision as reported in the link provided, has shown both compassion and wisdom.
City’s seeking to redevelop, which in so doing create homeless casualties of their residents, can expect those residents to move to and lawfully occupy public spaces. In effect, driving the most vulnerable from their homes may result in unintended consequences which benefit no one.
In light of the Hinkson decision councils need to be cognizant of the collateral damage they create when they close whole neighbourhoods like Moodyville or destroy MURB built affordable rental stock like Mountain Court replacing these housing units with unaffordable market housing, and token numbers of subsidized housing units, in exchange for granting wholesale restructuring does not address the problem.
If councils don’t begin to do a better job of supporting the needs of existing vulnerable rental residents, those without options may just choose to make a home in the most unpredictable of public places, and based on Justice Hinkson’s decision, the City will be unable to do anything to stop them.
Do you know how many homeless already live in our public parks and under our bridges in semi permanent structures? Quite a few!
‘For A Better Tomorrow’.