LETTER: What about locals and their housing needs?

From reader Dwyn Roberts...

Firstly, I would like to respectfully ask for a response [from city council]. To date I have never had a response from the mayor and/or council to my letters.

I am a home owner and as such pay property taxes and contribute in other ways to this community and as such believe I deserve the respect of a response.

I was so disappointed and upset to read the Nelson Star article about the folks in the campground who have landed in Nelson expecting housing. Clearly they did no research before coming because they would have known Nelson has a zero vacancy rate and so they would be unlikely to find accommodation. Why would some of them bring children in to this situation?

We also have little work in the area. This is also true for many who have been born and raised in Nelson and BC and have been living in Nelson for many years. These people have simply added to the existing issues by bringing even more competition to an already resource stretched community.

I personally have two family members including a Mum with two young children (my grandchildren) who cannot find affordable housing and she was born in BC and has lived in Nelson for 17 years. What are we doing for long time residents?

When readers feel sorry for the people in the article they will likely find housing as someone plays hero but what about the other people already here that cannot find housing? Yet again they will be denied an opportunity.

Are there not other communities in BC that offer similar college courses? Can these folks not find housing in Castlegar and Trail and commute? I know others who have been forced from Nelson, their home community, to these other communities because they can no longer afford to live here. Why is that not good enough for new arrivals?

I am constantly hearing of new residents able to slip in to affordable housing units while my daughter has been on a wait list for at least two years.

In my opinion council and the business sector have worked to draw people to Nelson for the “economy” and the pursuit of greed. I see little evidence of how that had improved my life or the life of my family members and others I know.

The gentrification of Nelson has made it impossible for many people who have been long time residents, sometimes for generations, to continue to live here.

We need to stop advertising everywhere we can for people to come to Nelson. Those articles need to give the full picture of Nelson along with the issues being caused by too many people and therefore too little resources such as the lack of housing and employment.

We have drawn the rich who have caused real estate to go high and rents to follow suit. We are not here simply to provide a pretty place for the rich to exploit!

Our medical resources as well as counselling and police services are being overburdened.

The water has never had such a strong chlorine smell and I can only assume this is response to increases in population. The traffic is over the top and parking is non-existent.

The constant drive to add to the population in pursuit of greed has been detrimental to the former way of life Nelson could offer.

We need to take a lesson from the community in the Maritimes that put a stop to it and were brave enough to declare there is nothing wrong with preserving the community you have. We do not need to sell out.

I feel for anyone that is homeless but these folks made a conscious choice to move to a place with a zero vacancy rate and we are now expected to solve the problem.

Let’s do that when we have first solved the problem for the people who have already been members of this community for years that cannot get affordable housing.

Do not keep the campground open for these folks. Offer it first to the folks who have lived here for some time that cannot find affordable housing.”

Dwyn Roberts

Nelson

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