To the Editor,
Re: Social housing plan cause for concern, Letters, Sept. 24.
It makes me wonder, to read the various opinions on the subject of social housing.
A good many writers to this topic seem to present with little or no fact to back them up, and a poor understanding as to which branch of government is behind these projects.
Most have not a clue who the people to be housed are nor their conditions. Many appear to express opinion based solely upon some perceived paranoid fears.
Yes, the 10th Avenue site is well situated – walking distance to stores, services, restaurants, transportation, VIU and a secondary school (with an excellent football team).
It is near two seniors’ residences, and both single- and multiple-family housing – with new streets and homes still being built around it. It is not located “in a sparsely populated area”.
Our demographics cover a wide band of ages and incomes.
The southern part of the city is expanded well past the Nanaimo Parkway and getting denser. The project itself, which is close to my own home, is also undergoing expansion.
Like anyone else in this fair city, those of us residing in Harewood want good neighbours.
As any real estate agency can tell you, our property values also range from moderate-to-high-to-ridiculous. In addition, we match most areas of the city with our broad ethnic blend from around the globe.
Residents in social housing could be nearly anyone – perhaps your neighbours or your own son or daughter. Possibly a previous neighbour or from their extended family, or a single-parent family.
It could be someone on social assistance for a wide variety of reasons (like extended unemployment or health issues).
Fearing that these residents are out to kidnap and rape our children, or are untreatable drug addicts or alcoholics, thieves, violent, or that they all suffer some horrendous mental illness – such people already live in your own neighbourhoods. They come from all walks of life, religions, education, social standing, etc.
So people, wake up and learn the facts. Perhaps even volunteer at a food bank for a few months – you may see that neighbour in the queue whom you’ve not seen for a while.
Michael A. Connors