Housing plan a terrible idea

Re: Site unveiled for north-end social housing and Housing needs open minds, Opinion, Sept. 15.

To the Editor,

Re: Site unveiled for north-end social housing and Housing needs open minds, Opinion, Sept. 15.

I am one of the many neighbours who will be affected by the Uplands Drive project in north Nanaimo.

To put this facility in the middle of a neighbourhood full of defenceless seniors (not to mention the schools) is just a terrible idea.

The Harewood project is surrounded by bush and away from congested areas. The Uplands property is on a very busy street, with fast moving traffic and will put the residents at risk of being hit.

If Housing First promises “early engagement” with the neighbourhood in advance of any announcements of sites or funding, why were we not notified of the choice of property until the day after it hit the newspapers?

The city quietly turned over the land to the province before any of us could raise objections, so they could tell us it is a done deal.

We chose this neighbourhood because it was quiet and relatively crime-free. We can walk down the street in safety. That is going to change.

Our property values will go down and it will be impossible to sell our homes.

What makes these people think that moving an apartment full of the mentally ill, drug addicts and alcoholics won’t have a negative impact on our neighbourhood.

We are not just talking about people who lost their jobs and have no home to go to. We are dealing with people who have mental as well as addiction problems.

I was told that we should call the police if something is not right and they will come and deal with it. This won’t happen for very long. Police don’t respond to calls now when vandals strike.

We will have drug  dealers roaming our streets, as well as used needles, used condoms and other garbage to deal with.

John Horn, the social planner, says this won’t happen if they have a nice place to live. In your dreams.

The city and provincial organizers of these projects don’t know how these people will behave. Just because they didn’t have problems in another area doesn’t mean it won’t happen here.

They don’t even know who will run it and what, if any, restrictions they will have.

The information booklets state that this low-barrier housing needs to be near transportation and shopping. Will the drug addicts be taking the bus to find their favourite dealer? No, the dealers will follow them to this home, which is right across the street from mine.

I invite the people who are so in favour of this project to offer their property and neighbourhood in exchange. Then all of us will be happy.

E.A. Ashcraft

Nanaimo