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
When temperatures plummeted to −20° last year, SRD Emergency Coordinator Shaun Koopman stepped in to make arrangements for Campbell River’s homeless population to be sheltered in the city’s community centre. The SRD intervened again last week, but at their November 9 meeting the Board decided this was a Campbell River problem.
Continue reading Who will look after Campbell River’s homeless population when temperatures plummet?
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 data from the 2016 census, 20% of Quadra Island residents and 27% of Cortes Island residents are paying more for their homes in rent or mortgages than they can afford. More recent studies suggest that a significant number of families throughout the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) are so financially stretched that they are at risk of becoming homeless. 75% of the ‘housing insecure’ respondents to the ‘Collecting Stories of Where We Live’ survey on Cortes Island, and 33% on Quadra Island, are working. These are some of the people North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney is referring to, when she talks about the need for a bar of dignity.
Continue reading Rachel Blaney: Canada needs a ‘Bar of Dignity’