Tag Archives: Cortes Island Housing

Area C Opts-in; New Details About The Short Term Rental Accommodation Act

Area C ‘opted-in’ to the Short Term Rental Accommodation Act at the SRD Board meeting yesterday. There was a spirited discussion in which the Director from Area D and two of his Campbell River colleagues discussed their reservations. Regional Director Mark Vonesch showed everyone an exception that would allow some absentee landlords to continue operating their short term rentals. When the final vote was taken, Area C’s motion to opt-in was approved with only two dissenting Directors. 

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Short Term Rental Decisions for Electoral Areas B, C & D

The SRD Board will be meeting again today and three items about BC’s Short Term Rental Act are on the agenda. The Ministry of Housing responded to Cortes Island’s decision to opt in. 58% of the respondents of Area C’s survey on whether to opt in replied ‘Yes’ and Area D will not opt in. 

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The Cortes Food Bank at a Critical Crossroad

The Cortes Island Food Bank has met the rapidly expanding need for its services, but says it is time the local, provincial and federal governments stepped up to the plate. Only 110 food hampers were given out in 2022, but since August they have seen at least a threefold increase of demand every month. There were 86 clients in January and 70 in February. Prior to this, the highs for both months was 12. 

“We really knew that the numbers that we were seeing in previous years were not reflecting the level of poverty that exists here.  So we were doing some strategic things to try to increase people’s awareness of the food bank. That was a major reason  why our numbers went up so significantly.  People felt that they could come to us.  They knew it was a safe place to come for support. I think our clients are already dealing with so many challenges in their lives. I encourage anybody listening, if you  could use some help,  just come to us and we’ll get you some food,” explained Beatrix Baxter, one of the Food Bank’s Directors.  

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Cortes Island’s Virtual Homeshare Forum

The Cortes Housing Society’s Virtual Forum kicks off this Saturday with a program on home sharing. This is a monthly event, co-sponsored by Folk-U. At 10 AM this Saturday host Sadhu Johnston will be joined by Noelle Marcus, from the US homeshare program Nesterly, and Janey Rowland, from the SGI (Southern Gulf Island) Housing Now Project.

“We all  know that there are a lot of homes that are underutilized or empty, and there are also a lot of homes that are just under-occupied. Maybe the kids have moved away, or for whatever reason there is an extra bedroom.  We know there are a good number of people on Cortes who are single and would be happy with a bedroom in a house,” explained Sadhu Johnston, executive director of the Cortes Housing Society. 

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Quadra Island considering opting-in to Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act 

Cortes Island is not the only rural area dealing with the provincial government’s Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act. Regional Director Robyn Mawhinney wants to know if Quadra Island would like to opt-in. She is conducting an online poll, which you can access by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. Mawhinney is  also holding  an in-person meeting in the Quadra Community Centre at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, March 20th. 

“Opting in is certainly on the table right now. You’ve probably seen that there’s a survey out, live right now at srd.ca, which is asking islanders to identify the benefits of short term rentals, their potential concerns with them, and where they should be permitted. I think the survey, as well as providing a window into how islanders want to coexist with short term rentals, will help inform potential zoning by law changes,” she explained.

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