Local politicians lukewarm on $50-million homeless plan

The proposal may do more harm than good, particularly to local middle-class families.

Victoria city council has backed a plan asking the Capital Regional District to borrow $50 million to house the homeless, but how this will affect Sooke is still unknown.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said more clarity is needed on the proposal.

“When they broke down what the requisition was per household, it’s a bit tough on Sooke residents because it’s another piece added to the cost,” Tait said. “How do they end up breaking it out, and how it all funnels out in the end? I’m not all clear on that.”

The proposal consists of a region-wide levy of $11.18 per household for a duration of 15 years that would ultimately contribute to 367 units of housing for homeless people and “end homelessness in Greater Victoria by 2018.”

But as much as it sounds like a morally-attractive idea, Tait pointed out that the levy would otherwise be detrimental to groups already struggling in the local community.

“There’s always a case to have affordable housing, but would putting a large [housing] facility in Victoria be of benefit to those people in Sooke that are in these situations? No, likely not,” she said.

Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan said the problem of housing goes much further uphill than the municipal level.

“The underlining issue here is the absence of appropriate support from the senior levels of government, such as the federal government, who has been out of housing for almost 20 years now, and the provincial government that hasn’t focused on the challenges here on the Island,” he said.

CRD Juan de Fuca director Mike Hicks had his doubts too on pushing forward such an initiative without a more thorough consultation.

“As far as I’m concerned, these [homeless people] aren’t necessarily regional people, or even JDF people, or Victoria people, they’re Canadian people, coming from across Canada, so it should be federally-sponsored, or at least, be provincially-sponsored,” he said, adding that he won’t be making any decisions on the subject until he consults with his electoral area ratepayers.

news@sookenewsmirror.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews contain fire to attic of Central Saanich home

Firefighters are responding to a structure fire in Central Saanich

First fall storm expected to hit Greater Victoria tonight

Heavy rainfall, winds expected over the next several days

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species

Conservancy manages habitat for more than 25 plant and animal species at risk

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

Most Read