By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Victoria, BC – In the wake of an unsuccessful legal challenge against the City of Victoria’s bylaw department – a case that a tribunal called “extraordinary” for municipal enforcement – members of the city’s unhoused community hosted a rally on March 10 to share the challenges they face.
Niki Ottosen is founder of the Backpack Project in Victoria, an organization that provides supplies like tents, sleeping bags, clothing, and food to Victoria’s homeless.
Continue reading Homeless allege harassment, while Victoria’s bylaw ensures the ‘safe passage of people’ →
Currents interviewed Mark Vonesch in early December. This is the second half of that interview, in which we dig a lot more deeply into issues related to housing on Cortes and in the local area: homelessness, employment, property values, AirBnB and much more.
We present here some excerpts from nearly 30 minutes of audio. Our interview covered quite a bit more ground: homelessness in Campbell River, and their approach to it; property tax structures and how they could be made more equitable; the related issue of a real estate market in which, as with rent, locals cannot compete with tourists and rusticators; the fundamental problem of treating housing as a speculative investment commodity. We recommend listening to the entire podcast for the most complete information.
Continue reading Housing on Cortes: an Interview with Mark Vonesch (part two) →
As Currents recently reported, homelessness is not just “an American thing,” or “a big-city thing,” or even “a Vancouver Island thing.” Homelessness is also here on Cortes, where a recent survey found that about 50 people rated their housing situation as “unstable,” and 11 were living rough (with no permanent shelter, in tents or other makeshift accommodation).
Although “housing” might sound like a single issue, it has has knock-on effects throughout our community.
Continue reading A New Approach to Homelessness: Housing First →
More than a third of the ‘housing insecure’ respondents to the survey on Quadra Island and 15% on Cortes Island were seniors. The percentage was lower throughout the Strathcona Regional District, but a significant number of residents are paying more for rent or mortgages than they can afford. In the second half of an interview with North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, she talks about ways the government can help seniors living below the poverty line.
Continue reading Blaney: Seniors living below the poverty line, GST rebates & carbon pricing →
According to Linda Bernicki, Director of Rural Health and Wellness at the Rural Development Network, “Housing is a human right and just not housing, safe and stable housing is a human right. So if I’m in housing that doesn’t have any heat or running water, then I’m denied a basic human right, and it takes all levels of government and all levels of society to work together to start to develop responses that is going to limit and homelessness.”
Continue reading Solutions for the ‘Unsheltered’ and ‘at Risk’ crisis on Cortes and Quadra Islands →