NEWS BULLETIN file photo Police make an arrest at 250 Terminal Ave. last month.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Residents need council to fix supportive housing problems

Supportive housing has come with increased crime and impact on neighbourhoods, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Supportive housing won’t be receiving nuisance label, Jan. 24.

I attended the Nanaimo city council meeting specifically to hear how the motion of declaring the problematic supportive housing properties located at 250 Terminal and 2020 Labieux nuisance properties would move forward.

It was laid out by the mayor that he was concerned that the City of Nanaimo’s relationship with the province would be compromised and complicate possible future funding, if they made waves and pursued the motion to move forward with declaring the properties. I could not help but think that I was watching a politician speak and not an advocate for all the people of Nanaimo.

The supportive housing has been a very hot topic over the last couple of months with the increased crime and impact on the neighbourhoods. The citizens are looking to their mayor and councillors for help because they are not getting it anywhere else.

In declaring these two sites nuisance properties, the neighbours had hoped that controls would be put in place to make the operators of these two properties accountable for the issues created by problem residents and their guests. We know that not all the residents are an issue and are just trying to make their lives better. The province has effectively set these people up to fail because not only is there the lack of detox and rehabilitation, but how do these people move forward when they have to continue to live with a criminal element.

The neighbours of these two sites are not cold-hearted individuals that want to shut down supportive housing and turn a blind eye to the needs of the residents of these facilities. But no one wants to be held responsible – not for how it is was implemented initially and certainly not how it is being operated thus far.

The people of Nanaimo do not care which group of government is responsible for what and whether the money comes from the provincial or municipal coffers, they just want to know that their elected officials care and have their best interests at heart in making their lives better.

In leaving the meeting last night it was apparent to me that the mayor and the majority of the council used a ‘battlefield triage’ mentality by sacrificing the needs of some residents for those of others. Nothing was accomplished and I feel they truly failed us.

Sandra Steward-Kobewka, Nanaimo

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To the editor,

Re: Council unhappy about Terminal Avenue troubles, Jan. 17

Another key issue Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog and the city council members ought be considering is the potential decline of property value surrounding the Terminal Avenue supportive housing site.

Imagine for a moment you are a frightened home owner living in close proximity to the Terminal Ave supportive housing complex and because of all the bad experiences that have occurred you now just need to escape by selling your property. Well good luck with that idea as one of the first experiences a potential buyer would likely come face to face with is the eyesore support housing complex and second the massive controversy surrounding it.

Any real estate agent with integrity would be disclosing the negative troubles and potential dangers surrounding the supportive housing.

In addition, any selling features that Maffeo Sutton Park may have had to offer would quickly be compromised if the potential buyer were to find out that a local Nanaimo man was unable to go to the park without an addict trying to accost his daughter.

It is obvious home owners in this area were not considered first when the provincial goverment was permitted to bypass Nanaimo city zoning rules. Double standards never work.

Yes, help those in need, but not at the expense of tax paying citizens.

Dwight Lobson, Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Province shows how not to handle homelessness

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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