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 →
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 →
There were at least 159 Cortes Island residents living in ‘unsheltered’ or ‘at risk’ conditions when they responded to the housing needs survey last spring. There was a smaller response on Quadra and the Outer Islands, so only 69 were identified. These are both low numbers. At one point during our interview Emma Wallace, who oversaw this project, suggested the actual number for Cortes might be 10% higher. So I guesstimate about 175 people in a population of about 1,100 are in unstable housing situations. (I do not believe there is enough data to make a serious guesstimate in Area C.)
Wallace is employed by the Rural Development Network, which was commissioned to do this study by the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness and the Urban Indigenous Housing and Wellness Coalition. In today’s program she gives a demographic sketch of the unsheltered and at risk population.
Continue reading Demographics of the ‘Unsheltered’ and ‘At Risk’ on Cortes and Quadra Islands →
In the Spring of 2022, Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness and the Urban Indigenous Housing and Wellness Coalition commisioned a series of studies of the housing crisis in our area. One components was a survey called ‘Collecting Stories of Where We Live’ conducted by the Rural Development Network. 110 Cortes Island and 43 Area C residents participated (all but two of the latter were from Quadra Island).
“The purpose was to provide a comprehensive picture of housing instability and homelessness in the area to help inform service providers and municipal, provincial, and federal policies, practices, and funding decisions. And then to elevate and incorporate the voices of folks who are experiencing homelessness in solutions to end homelessness,” explained Emma Wallace, Project Manager of Community Development and Homelessness Estimations at the Rural Development Network.
Continue reading ‘Unsheltered’ and ‘At Risk’ Populations on Cortes and Quadra Islands →