The following letter was sent to the people who have signed the affordable housing petition.
First off, we’re happy to report our collective efforts are already having a positive impact! The Croftonbrook affordable housing project near the hospital (a project of IWAV and BC Housing) is extremely close to getting its final approval. LTC Trustees decided to break an impasse between Islands Trust planners and Van Island Health in favour of the project going ahead. Why? According to a planner quoted in the Driftwood, because of "unparalleled political pressure" to get something done about the crisis.
So, after 3 years of hoop hoop, delay delay, we're seeing the Trust start to work harder to smooth the path for some of these worthy projects.
Guess who made that happen? YOU!
Creative living crackdown
You might have also caught some of the constant media attention about the crisis in the Driftwood, Exchange, and Vancouver Sun (front page story!). The latest story to hit the papers was the LTC and CRD jointly cracking down on alternative living arrangements. While we can’t offer a blanket defence of all the creative living happening on the island, one can’t help but think about this quote from one of the landowners now being forced to evict working people from his land:
“In a watershed, the zoning laws here make it legal to use and flush as much water as we want. We can water as much agricultural land as we want, and use as many pesticides. We could have more than 20 horses, 10 goats, 15 sheep, 10 pigs, and 99 chickens, and the bylaw officer who visited us last week would have no concerns. But humans?”
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more about this crackdown.
Oct 20 is a chance to make big change - local elections
Speaking of elections, did you know the Islands Trust and CRD Director positions are up for grabs on October 20? That’s the same day as other municipal elections across the province. Of all the things we could do to impact the crisis, having Trustees who “get it”, are embedded in communities more impacted by it, and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get hard things done, electing the right people tops the list.
Watch for us to post more content about candidates we think will offer the most vigorous support for affordable housing policies.
The Fair! The Parade! Saturday and Tuesday markets!
Collecting signatures at Earth Candy Farm This summer we’ve been hard at work raising awareness, telling stories, and growing our little movement for change. Perhaps you’ve seen our table at the Tuesday farmers market, our new table on Saturday at the amazing Earth Candy Farm, or our posters up at Barbs, the Perch, Axe and Reel, Treehouse, and other island businesses.
Volunteers will also be at the end of the Pride Parade (weather permitting), and the Fall Fair. Please come by and say hi.
Also, if you have some time to spare we could sure use one or two volunteers for a few hours. We promise, it’s fun, positive, and so energizing to see how excited people are to know fellow islanders are working on this. Email us to volunteer.
That’s all for now. Thank you again for signing the petition. We hope you don’t mind the odd update from us, it’s how we’ll keep in touch about other ways you can help us win. Our whole model is that signing the petition was the first step, but in order to make big, hard change possible here it will take many of us showing up in many ways.
One thing that’s gotten clear this summer, we’re going to get there.