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[Fairfield] Mount Edwards Court | Low Barrier Housing


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#1 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:12 AM

This will be the largest low-barrier housing project in the city, with over 100 residents.



#2 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:14 AM

http://www.timescolo...using-1.2158367

 

The stars appear to be aligning for the city to provide $1 million in funding for a proposed Cool Aid housing project on Vancouver Street.

 

Almost $500,000 in housing-grant funds are being freed up just as Victoria prepares to consider a $1-million application to help renovate Mount Edwards Court Care home into low-income supportive housing.

 

The Victoria Cool Aid Society has an option to buy the Mount Edwards Court Care Home building on Vancouver Street and plans to convert it into a supportive-housing facility with 101 suites. The society is planning $9 million in renovations to the Mount Edwards site and has made application to the city for $1 million in funding.

 

City staff have received the Cool Aid application, although Victoria council isn’t expected to see it until next month.

 



#3 dasmo

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:17 AM

You know, this might be a good spot. It has the prison yard in the center and not spilling onto the street....



#4 Rob Randall

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:31 AM

If you look on it on Bing maps, it does have a wooded internal courtyard but it appears to be accessible only from within the building. There is no outdoor gathering area like at Our Place.

http://binged.it/1nMZmpO

#5 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:37 AM

If you look on it on Bing maps, it does have a wooded internal courtyard but it appears to be accessible only from within the building. There is no outdoor gathering area like at Our Place.

http://binged.it/1nMZmpO

 

That courtyard is not big enough to allow smoking.   Will that have to be done outdoors, or can residents smoke inside units?



#6 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:51 AM

Jan 25 2016 - 9:15am
News Release
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2016
 
                                                                                                          
 
Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition launch to highlight community concerns about proposed low barrier housing project
 
 
 
Victoria, B.C. – A coalition of residents, property owners, seniors, parents, and others are raising concerns around the Mount Edwards low barrier housing project being proposed for the former Baptist Housing site at 1002 Vancouver Street and Rockland in Fairfield.
 
The proposal being put forward by Cool Aid society would see modifications to the existing building in order to house 101 homeless and at-risk residents, many with mental health and addictions challenges, with minimal or no onsite programs to help residents address those challenges.  The Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition feels there are significant safety and neighbourhood impact concerns as a result of the project, including to nearby residents, businesses, and Victoria’s only remaining downtown elementary school, which is located directly next door.
 
“Homelessness and poverty are important issues in Victoria that need to be addressed responsibly and with the input and involvement of the community,” said Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition Chair, Emory Haines. “There has not been an adequate level of meaningful consultation with local residents. The community should have an opportunity to provide input and decide if this is truly the best way forward for the neighbourhood and the people the society is trying to help.”
 
The Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition is fully supportive of the city and Cool Aid Society’s goals of helping get people off the street, but these efforts need to be done in a transparent way that involves and engages the community and respects the needs of everyone impacted. This includes ensuring that those being housed are able to receive the support they require.
 
Specific concerns for the Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition include the location of the project itself, but also the size and scope of the proposed housing as well as the staff to resident ratio compared to similar facilities elsewhere. There are also questions about the City of Victoria’s possible financial support for this project given the site may not be properly zoned for this type of housing.
 
“We are asking all parties involved in this proposed project, including the Cool Aid Society, City of Victoria, to listen to the concerns being raised by community and give this location some serious second thought,” added Haines.
 
The coalition is also calling on all levels of government to put in place proper standards and guidelines around community consultation, zoning, site placement, safety, staffing, capacity and available support services that shelter and housing facilities would be required to operate under. This would ensure that all proposed projects are done to the highest standards both for the people they are trying to help and the nearby community.
 
 
About Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition
 
We are a group of neighbours, tenants, property owners, parents, seniors, and other concerned citizens that have come together to raise awareness, gain knowledge, share information with others, and to provide a voice around the proposed Mount Edwards low barrier housing project. 
 
 
-30-
 
 
 
MEDIA CONTACT
 
Emory Haines
Chair, Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition
250-380-4451
themecac@gmail.com

 

 

https://landlordbc.c...raises-concerns


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#7 Jill

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:56 AM

Christ Church Cathedral School is opposing this project.



#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:59 AM

Emory Haines - Chair, Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition was just on CFAX, he's well-spoken, he knows his stuff.  Several issues were brought up.


#9 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:12 AM

Lisa Helps, again, in the TC article today, comparing the $3550 per person per month indoor tent-city to this facility.

 

The clientèle is not at all the same.

 

 

Helps said the opposition is fear-based and not unlike concerns raised before a temporary homeless facility opened Jan. 5 in the city-owned old Boys and Girls Club building on Yates Street across from Central Middle School. The goal of the facility is to provide an alternative for people camping at the tent city on the grounds of the Victoria courthouse.

 

“It’s the same kind of thing that happened at Central Middle School when they were opposed to the My Place temporary housing. Now that that is up and running, there’s nary a complaint,” Helps said.

 

- See more at: http://www.timescolo...h.QJhFVz8q.dpuf

 

Lisa Helps, go talk to business owners in Rock Bay.  They have the "luxury" of being able to install high, barbed-wire fences, and solid doors with heavy steel locks.


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#10 Layne French

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:33 PM

That courtyard is not big enough to allow smoking.   Will that have to be done outdoors, or can residents smoke inside units?

 

Low Barrier Housing typically allows for smoking inside a suite.



#11 LJ

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:03 PM

This homeless problem has become Helps "Field of Dreams".


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#12 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:42 PM

Question: Will there be policies requiring residents to take prescribed medication for mental health conditions, and if so will this be enforced through supervision?

 

Answer: One of the important roles that our 24/7 Housing Support Workers provide is medication monitoring. As well, they interact with tenants every day to ensure that they are doing well and have all the support they need. When outside services are required, such as an ambulance, they are called in.

 

 

What kind of a terrible PR flack wrote that?  So transparent.

 

https://coolaid.org/...court/#recovery


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#13 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:47 PM

Question: Are two staff really enough to ensure the safety of our neighbourhood if there are 100 residents in this building?

 

Answer: In fact, staffing levels will be much higher than two people, especially during weekdays. Two professional housing support workers is the minimum staffing level at the site – for example, during the middle of the night.

Cool Aid plans to also staff the building weekdays with a Coordinator to manage all aspects of the building and its residents. There will also be a full-time Client Support Worker dedicated to the building to assist residents with their goal planning. Both of these positions are over and above the two support workers. Additionally there will be many visiting professionals such as nurses, physicians, recreation and lifeskills programmers. There will also be janitorial/maintenance staff and we hope kitchen staff to prepare a daily meal for residents.

 

The site will have higher staffing levels than Pandora Avenue, where we have successfully housed 112 residents for years with youth and child-serving programs on site every single day, including weekends.

 

https://coolaid.org/...court/#recovery



#14 Baro

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:02 PM

I feel bad to have these rather nimby feelings, but I'm feeling very nimby about this project.  It's literally right across the street from me.  I pass Quadra and Pandora every day going to work and I've seen some serious **** go down on that corner, sometimes if I don't like the vibe of that corner I'll detour around.  Why do they have to put this facility in a quiet residential area next to an elementary school? Why not make this facility housing for a less volatile type of homeless.  Sometimes it seems like the city is hell bent on driving every last remaining school out.

 

I mean who knows, maybe it will work out.  Maybe cool-aid will bend over backwards to make sure this building doesn't create any more problems for the area than yet another mid-rise condo or apartment would.  Maybe the facility won't be a ghetto serving to concentrate and reinforce the cycle of addiction and mental health problems and will actually change lives and be worth some minor teething pains.

I just don't want to be hearing or seeing the violent fights or screaming matches that I've seen on Pandora.  I don't want needles in our stairwells.  I don't want to be followed to my door by someone who isn't asking for money but just so happens to need to try to intimidate me into listen to a long story that invariably leads to wanting my money.  No one wants to deal with those things right outside their homes, but these facilities need to go somewhere.  I'm no expert on the issue but the whole plan seems very out of place and better suited to somewhere less residential.

 

The neighbourhood clearly has no choice in the matter.  I'm sure the people who bough some of the condos nearby pre-sale as investments are just loving this.  Thank god I rent.  If the shelter chooses to be a good neighbour we can stay, maybe even come to be proud of the facility.  If they choose to simply say "Housing first!" at every legitimate complaint and the neighbourhood suffers like others with similar facilities, we can move (or perhaps enjoy lower rent!).  


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#15 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:11 PM

My advice to the opposition is first of all make sure this has to have a rezoning. Get a lawyer.
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#16 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:12 PM

That will make for a very, well, public hearing.

And it certainly can not happen before February 29th.

#17 dasmo

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:49 PM

The concentration is the problem IMO. Why have a big facility. It becomes like a jail and it reenforces values. It also create a much bigger optics problem and it densifies any physical problems created in the neighbourhoods where these facilities are created. Better to have more smaller housing facilities distributed around. It might also create better integration like a halfway house as opposed to a prison block....



#18 Jill

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 05:55 AM

So the old Queen Victoria Inn isn't downtown enough for a comedy club with a liquor license, but this neighbourhood is urban enough for this project?


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#19 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:37 AM

God forbid James Bay get a liquor primary license in a neighbourhood. James Bay Inn should have their license pulled.
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#20 attica

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 08:23 AM

Does not need a rezoning, Low barrier housing is still just "residential". Any support services they require is covered under the allowable use of nursing.

To go around saying at-risk/low income people are a different kind of "allowable-use" is ridiculous

 

There will be no Public Hearing

 

The only way this gets held up is if they can't get financial support



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