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Affordable housing is under attack again – please write a letter

One of the main reasons our group formed two years ago was to help support the nonprofit affordable housing projects struggling to get built on the island. At the time there were 5 of these projects proposed, and all were under attack by small pockets of local opposition for various reasons. By telling stories about the wider housing crisis, who it was impacting, and highlighting how conscious and environmentally minded these projects were, we hoped to change the story on why these projects were needed and build more public support.

We are mostly there – the forward momentum we’ve collectively been making has had an impact on the Islands Trust, at the CRD, and, we hope, the local culture of how the issue is viewed.

But one of the major projects – Croftonbrook – continues to be opposed by some neighbours and they need some more help getting over yet another hurdle.

Islanders Working Against Violence (IWAV) has been trying to develop supportive and family housing on their own land next to the hospital and Country Grocer for many years now. They have made countless variations to try and make the project ecologically minimal, affordable, and of lowest impact to neighbours, while ensuring it remains economically viable within the extreme constraints of their various funding agreements.

IWAV are asking the Trust for a final permit supporting a three story building, so they can have less impact on forests with a smaller construction footprint, and honestly, it’s nearly impossible economically to build affordable housing unless it is three or more stories tall.

They are asking the community to write letters of support before the next meeting of the Trust on July 28. Here are some points below:

  • The plans are for a 34 unit apartment building that will provide affordable rental housing for individuals, couples and small families
  • new affordable rental housing will help local residents have permanent housing in Ganges
  • apartments of different sizes/rent amounts allow for diversity of individuals and small families
  • three storey building is favourable because of smaller footprint – protects forest, reduces impact to neighbours and residents, it’s also the only affordable way to build multi-unit homes
  • families need housing too!!
  • having people of different ages and back grounds is about building healthy community
  • some seniors like to have children in their neighbourhoods
  • The brook (called Croftonbrook) will be a feature in this new design with enhanced native plantings and protections

Letters are to be written to the Islands Trust:  ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca

Please be sure to cc:

Laura Patrick – lpatrick@islandstrust.bc.ca

Peter Grove – pgrove@islandstrust.bc.ca

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