To the Editor,
I am very saddened by the response by north-end residents about social housing in the north end of Nanaimo.
We live close to downtown in a condo where there is social housing in the area. We live next to an apartment building which, when we moved here seven years ago, was the pride of the block. It was beautifully maintained, including its gardens.
There were tenants who had lived there long term. It was sold to someone who lives not a million miles from the area in dispute for social housing.
All the decent tenants who can afford it have moved. The building falls increasingly into decay, tenanted mostly by drug addicts.
The RCMP has threatened to declare it a nuisance building. Please remember that this is a privately owned building, not social housing.
I heard recently that the owner of the building has bought a bigger apartment building on Uplands Drive. My heart goes out to the tenants of that building.
About all that I can say to north-end residents is that, if you think social housing is bad, just wait.
Do the north-end residents think that there are no schools or seniors living where we live or in the south end of Nanaimo?
Do they have any statistics to support their argument that social housing in an area increases the risk of criminality and has resulted in an increase of crime against children and seniors?
Addiction and homelessness does not, necessarily, mean criminality.
Social housing is not the problem. Social housing is likely to be better cared for than the property of our local “slumlord”.
Often, bad and greedy landlords are the problem.
We see drug dealing going on. Often, it is well-dressed people waiting to pick up. Some of them may come from the north end.
To the residents of the north end, you need to get rid of your “silo” mentality.
We need to include, not exclude people.
You can put as much “lipstick on the pig” as you like, but the truth is that you are worried about your property values.
In the current financial climate, there, but for the grace of God, go you.