Advocate for family accommodations

It was reported in the Sept. 20 issue of the Parksville Qualicum Beach News that the Berwick Retirement Communities Ltd. was withdrawing its subdivision application for 180 Jensen Avenue East.

They were quoted in the article that the application was stopped “pending resolution of a legal challenge to the rezoning of 222 Corfield street”. To paraphrase another quote “this decision was made in the hopes that the mayor and council would recognize that the two projects were incompatible.”

With a civic election upcoming and a community already badly divided, the corporation surely knew that this decision would become ammunition for the opponents of the Corfield project.

I am amazed that a housing provider for a particular sector of our community, i.e., the affluent retiree, failed to acknowledge that a municipality has a responsibility to all its citizens.

Even though I am 80 years old, one could argue that our community has too many “old people” and that we should oppose projects such as the Berwick project – we should only be advocating for family accommodations.

I would like to share my observations as an architect in Edmonton for nine projects accommodating 180 units of special purpose housing designed for a range of individuals, including homeless street people including homeless women, people with mental health issues and addictions, a variety of hard to house individuals, and many low income persons and families.

What was most striking was the change in these individuals when they enjoyed safe and secure housing.

Many became involved in the operation of the facilities; some became involved in their local communities. Many but not all became very responsible tenants and exhibited pride in their home and their communities. I was not aware of these projects being magnets for undesirable activities or causing problems or harassing their neighbours.

Please remember in the upcoming election debates that the residents of the proposed Corfield housing are also members of our community.

Larrie Taylor

Parksville

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