LETTER: Boarding houses could help homelessness problem

Reader Josh Wapp thinks the boarding house's time has come again.

Recently, I heard a report on CBC radio about the tradition of boarding houses and how city officials and planners are beginning to recognize and respect them as truly affordable housing solutions for thousands of Torontonians.

They were interviewing someone who was down on his luck due to health reasons and how a boarding house really helped him out since the rent was low enough that he could afford it while on welfare. They also interviewed a boarding home owner in Etobicoke who commented that his boarders are “mostly good” but “once in a while” he found problems and had to kick someone out.

They explained that the stigma around rooming houses is changing since they have been, in the past, places housing people with substance abuse issues. But, in fact, today they often house students, seniors, and people whose wages are not enough to afford much of anything else. They can be short term or, for some, much longer term. This interview can be found online, on the CBC radio website, under the Metro Morning show files.

I don’t write this to try and diminish whatsoever any other efforts in Nelson to help with homelessness issues but this radio segment got me thinking; Nelson could really use some boarding houses. I know the new Stepping Stones homeless shelter now has some longer term rooms with one meal a day provided. This style of offering a “hand up” kind of housing makes a lot of sense.

How else can someone afford rent and food on basic welfare’s meagre budget or on minimum wage? And, the great thing is that the conversion from a home to a boarding house is very minimal. It requires hardly any extra infrastructure. And, if there can be a way of someone cooking at least one meal a day for boarders, buying groceries in bulk is often a great savings. Of course, as the radio program outlined, it has its challenges but, moreover, it is a hugely positive, accessible solution for many of our most vulnerable citizens in need of truly affordable housing.

Josh Wapp

Nelson

Just Posted

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

COLUMN: 1919 – Forest fire threatens Rosemont

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

LETTER: A good news story

From reader Lonnie Snyder

School District 8 names new international principal

Jann Schmidt has been an educator for 26 years

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read