Mayor hopes for social housing peace

With operators chosen to run Nanaimo’s latest social housing units, mayor John Ruttan hopes neighbourhood fears can be put to rest.

With operators chosen to run Nanaimo’s latest social housing units, Mayor John Ruttan hopes neighbourhood fears can be put to rest.

Part of the B.C. government’s Housing First initiative, sites at 1621 Dufferin Cres. and 6025 Uplands Dr. were announced in September, causing an uproar from neighbours fearing an increase in crime and unhappy with the lack of consultation.

As part of the program, the city is required to provide land for the facilities.

Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society – in partnership with Columbian Centre Society and Haven Society will operate the Dufferin Crescent site, while Pacifica Housing, headquartered in Victoria, will run the Uplands Drive site.

Ruttan is pleased with the choice of operators and the track record of all of them.

“It bodes well for the future of the sites,” he said. “They operate a number of sites throughout Nanaimo and the thing is you never hear anything about them. No negative comments, no negative results … the record of these providers speaks for itself.”

Both sites will be low-barrier housing for single adults with no restrictions on drug or alcohol use in the units.

The first step for the operators is to meet with neighbours, providing information on the operation of the buildings and the prospective tenants.

RCMP and city bylaw officers will accompany the operators to answer questions and hopefully mitigating any legitimate concerns, said Ruttan.

“Maybe we didn’t present positive information, but we were challenged with not being able to say anything until the province released the names of the providers,” he said. “The low-barrier is a concern, but I’d like to think the tenants will respect the neighbours and those who might be causing trouble will be aware that there will be many eyes watching them.”

For more information on the housing providers, please go to www.pacificahousing.ca, www.nahs.ca, www.columbiancentresociety.com or www.havensociety.com.

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

Just Posted

Rick Morgan, Nanaimo Search and Rescue building director, and Carly Trobridge, president and search manager, turn sod to kick off the start of renovations to NSAR’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 26. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Search and Rescue getting started on $2.6-million makeover at Harewood headquarters

Renovation project will increase space for vehicles and improve training and management operations

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Downed hydro line sparks brush fire in Yellow Point

North Oyster firefighters and B.C. Hydro on scene along Yellow Point Road

A concrete seawall built to prevent erosion on a property on Driftwood Drive on Mudge Island. (Islands Trust image)
Appeal Court says Mudge Island homeowners’ seawall has to go

Court decides right to guard against erosion isn’t a ‘privileged’ property right

McDonald’s on Nicol Street in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
McDonald’s in Nanaimo reports COVID-19 case

Employee at Nicol Street location last worked Jan. 17

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Emergency crews were called to a three-vehicle crash Monday morning on the old Island Highway close to Rock City Road. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Car, pickup and semi truck crash along the highway in Nanaimo

Incident happened in front of Rock City Plaza on Monday morning

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

Most Read