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City addresses community concerns over temporary supportive housing sites

Jan 30, 2019, 16:54 PM

Members of the public have expressed a number of concerns over social disruptions surrounding the two temporary supportive housing sites on Labieux Road and Terminal Avenue. The City would like to assure citizens that a number of agencies are taking actions to improve conditions for the residents and neighbours of these housing sites. 

BC Housing and supportive housing service providers have made improvements to address issues around these sites and progress is being made. Actions taken include:

  • Neighbourhood Committees - community advisory committees have been formed for both modular housing projects and are open for any interested person or organization to be a part of. Representatives from BC Housing, Island Health, the housing operators, RCMP and City staff attend these meetings. The committee meetings are open to anyone who is interested in attending.
  • BC Housing – BC Housing has oversight responsibility for the two projects and their operators. All correspondence and feedback received by the City is forwarded to BC Housing. City staff are in regular communication with BC Housing. BC Housing has positively responded to issues as they are identified.
  • Site Improvements – both modular housing sites have made significant improvements to security and on-site management systems. These include fencing, lighting, door security, security personnel and staff training. The site improvement process is ongoing.
  • RCMP – The RCMP have ongoing patrols including their bike squad, general duty officers and plain clothes officers. The RCMP have provided safety training to the security personnel and facilities staff at the supportive housing sites. A Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) assessment has been undertaken for both sites. In addition the RCMP are participating in a joint police-bylaws-outreach team pilot program for the two neighbourhoods.
  • Island Health – the Island Health Authority is regularly attending the sites as part of the wrap around services being provided to residents of the two modular housing projects.
  • City Parks – The Nanaimo Parks and Recreation Department has identified Beban Park as a high priority area for monitoring and a CPTED assessment is being undertaken. Lighting improvements for the area are under review. In addition, the department has ongoing liaison and communications with its leaseholders and user groups. An update to the parks bylaw will be presented to Council for their consideration in February.
  • Site Operators – the City has held meetings with the operators to establish close lines of communication and address issues. Communication is ongoing.
  • Long Term Strategies – Nanaimo has homelessness and affordable housing strategies to address the longer term issues in the community. City Council will be reviewing these strategies in February. In addition, Council will be holding a workshop in the coming months to review the social service system in Nanaimo. Service providers will be engaged as part of the review process.

Supportive housing is created, built and funded by BC’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The City supports these activities and will continue to collaborate with BC Housing and service providers to make the projects as successful as possible.

BC Housing

Island Crisis Care Society

Pacifica Housing

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