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[Fairfield] Mount Edwards Court | Low Barrier Housing


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#81 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:48 PM

Cool Aid does operate a lot of properties outside downtown, as far away Langford and Saanich (we have 14 in total, with 1 in construction and we hope Mount Edwards in the future). Here's where to find a map to view our portfolio:

 

https://coolaid.org/...-aid-locations/

 

The two furthest ones are seniors facilities.  And Cedar Grove is the next closest in.  24 Units, Gorge Rd.  That's a good size.  Not 101 units on Vancouver St. next to the elementary school.


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#82 Alan Rycroft

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:51 PM

The two furthest ones are seniors facilities.  And Cedar Grove is the next closest in.  24 Units, Gorge Rd.  That's a good size.  Not 101 units on Vancouver St. next to the elementary school.

In fact, seniors 55+ are the majority throughout our ten apartment buildings -- but you are right, we are consciously moving our oldest residents further from the centre of services downtown.



#83 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:55 PM

Alan, you have still not addressed the situation around Queens Manor.  And I'm not trying to keep pouring on here, but that building is only 36 units, it's the same low-barrier as your Vancouver proposal, and the neighbourhood is a zoo.

 

In fact, seniors 55+ are the majority throughout our ten apartment buildings -- but you are right, we are consciously moving our oldest residents further from the centre of services downtown.

 

 

Why is that?  Don't the oldest tenants begin to have mobility issues and would be better to be close to a variety of grocery stores, doctors and pharmacies etc.?  Or do they become a safety risk from other, younger tenants?


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#84 Alan Rycroft

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:05 PM

Alan, you have still not addressed the situation around Queens Manor.  And I'm not trying to keep pouring on here, but that building is only 36 units, it's the same low-barrier as your Vancouver proposal, and the neighbourhood is a zoo.

 

 

Why is that?  Don't the oldest tenants begin to have mobility issues and would be better to be close to a variety of grocery stores, doctors and pharmacies etc.?  Or do them become a safety risk from other, younger tenants?

Our seniors facilities are all located close to shopping, medical and other neighbourhood services, as well as bus routes. We have found that the older are tenants are the less interested they are in being downtown.

 

Let me be clear -- whenever possible Cool Aid is interested in new housing being built outside of the downtown core... or as we like to say, "every community can be part of the solution to homelessness."



#85 VicPushedOver

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:10 PM

Exactly right. World's apart which show clearly the difference between drop-in services (900 block) and residential services (700 block). Encourage you to take a stroll to see for yourself what a difference housing makes.

I don't see the distinction, the miasma of misery on Pandora street  stems from the housing and services for the mentally ill drug addicts that are concentrated there.  People don't know what  specific facility or homeless service on Pandora is causing the most problems, but they do see the problems.



#86 Alan Rycroft

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:11 PM

Alan, you have still not addressed the situation around Queens Manor.  And I'm not trying to keep pouring on here, but that building is only 36 units, it's the same low-barrier as your Vancouver proposal, and the neighbourhood is a zoo.

 

 

Why is that?  Don't the oldest tenants begin to have mobility issues and would be better to be close to a variety of grocery stores, doctors and pharmacies etc.?  Or do them become a safety risk from other, younger tenants?

Ok good point, VicHockeyFan. Sorry for not responding about Queens Manor on Douglas.

 

First off, Cool Aid did not pick this building -- it was given to us. As a former hotel it is not well designed for our purposes which causes part of the challenge. (Open balconies facing the street.)

 

However, the major challenge of Queens Manor, which does present street-level issues (unlike our other 9 apartment buildings), is that there is a concentration of our most difficult to house tenants. It is also located adjacent to the Bottle Depot, Mustard Seed and ahem, very inappropriate private market rentals, all of which generate a very challenging neighbourhood environment.

 

- snip from a letter -

 

I fear that many of your parents’ concerns are based on conditions at Rock Bay Landing shelter (which is an emergency shelter, serving an ever-changing population, not a site of permanent supported housing); or Queen’s Manor (which is an outlier in Cool Aid housing, in that it supports a group of residents with the highest needs level in a neighbourhood very different from Vancouver Street at Rockland); or Our Place drop-in, which is a separate organization not affiliated with Cool Aid. These are misaligned comparisons.

 

The reason you have probably never heard of any of our other nine housing projects is because they are almost indistinguishable from any other low-rise apartment building when in operation.

 

It is our goal to be good neighbours, as we are throughout the Capital Region. We do not wish to disrupt the community, but rather to strengthen it by providing stability and security for vulnerable people who are today homeless, and who will remain homeless for years more should this project fail. These are people who are already our neighbours, but living on the streets and bringing to the neighbourhood all of the issues that homelessness entails.


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#87 Alan Rycroft

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:13 PM

Hello you active people!

 

Just to say I am in a very busy period right now (imagine that!) and won't be able to respond to each and every post here. But I will pop in, probably less regularly than these last two days, and chip in Cool Aid's 2 cents every once in a while.

 

We also maintain a lot of social media accounts which you may be interested in following. You can find their locations at https://coolaid.org/...nd-other-feeds/

 

You can also talk to me, yes talk!, also at 250-414-4781.

 

Later,

 

Alan Rycroft

Victoria Cool Aid Society



#88 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:16 PM

OK, I can go with some of what you say there.  It's also close to the Government St. sex workers "stroll" and indeed houses some of those workers.   I guess that can bring its own problems.

 

But would the rules, the clientèle be any different on Vancouver St., than in Queens?  I don't know how to say this very politely, but do you currently put your "worst" clients together in Queens?


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#89 Alan Rycroft

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:02 PM

OK, I can go with some of what you say there.  It's also close to the Government St. sex workers "stroll" and indeed houses some of those workers.   I guess that can bring its own problems.

 

But would the rules, the clientèle be any different on Vancouver St., than in Queens?  I don't know how to say this very politely, but do you currently put your "worst" clients together in Queens?

Yes -- Queens is an "outlier" in the Cool Aid housing portfolio. The resident mix you will see at Mount Edwards, if all goes as Cool Aid would like, will be like our other properties that aren't seniors only -- so, for example, very similiar to the populations housed in lower Pandora (700 Block), which we are offering as the closest-fit tour.

 

Much calmer than Queens!



#90 Mike K.

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:08 PM

For what it's worth, I have encountered shady characters and activities at the 700-block facility. I don't think there's anything that can be done to keep those individuals away from these facilities, I mean there is no law banning people from standing on a sidewalk or lingering around.

One way or another the neighbourhood will be impacted, there will be issues with criminal activity, there will be an increased police presence, etc.

I mean just the other night a housing facility in the 900-block of Humboldt called police after seeing someone walking through the lobby wielding a machete. What's up with that?

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#91 VicPushedOver

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:52 PM

Yes -- Queens is an "outlier" in the Cool Aid housing portfolio. The resident mix you will see at Mount Edwards, if all goes as Cool Aid would like, will be like our other properties that aren't seniors only -- so, for example, very similiar to the populations housed in lower Pandora (700 Block), which we are offering as the closest-fit tour.

 

Much calmer than Queens!

First let me say I'm glad Alan is on here, because he sure has not been answering emails from concerned citizens in the effected Fairfield neighbourhood.

 

From Cool Aids web site: Queens Manor – a building with 36 units of supportive housing for adults currently without a home. The building, a former Travellers Inn, is located at 710 Queens Street (on the corner of Douglas). Single adults, couples and tenants with pets are accommodated in the building.

 

To me that resident mix at Queens Manor sounds pretty sweet. At least compared to the information that came from Kathy Stinson's own lips during the CCC Parents meeting with Cool-Aid on January 13.  Paraphrasing: 1/3 of residents would have severe cases of mental illness and drug addiction, the "Chronic Homeless", 1/3 with less severe drug addictions and mental illness, but require shelters to function, and 1/3 who could possibly function without a shelter, but can't afford rent. Then there is the size thing, 101 SRO units at Mount Edwards nearly 3 times as many as Queens Manor. Did  i mention its 13 meters from a k-8 school. For those of you who do not know the neighborhood I've provided a link, the huge red brick building is the proposed site, the school is across Rockland street. . https://www.google.c...!7i13312!8i6656


Edited by VicPushedOver, 28 January 2016 - 04:56 PM.

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#92 shoeflack

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 09:41 AM

I'm not sure I follow.

 

In one paragraph to speak to the benefits of the activities in the 800-blocks of Pandora and Johnson and claim you actually feel safer there than you do in other parts of downtown, but in a following paragraph you're worried that your area of downtown may be viewed as the preferred location for these services?

 

I get the sense that you've found yourself in a position where the street issues you encounter are an unfortunate part of urban living on your block. And now that you've come to realize what this means for you you want to stop the proliferation in your immediate area and would prefer to push similar services onto someone else's doorstep. I can't say I blame you, and I'd probably feel the same way, but why beat around the bush? Just come out and say what you really think, that your area has had enough and you want to spread the burden.

 

I can see why you don't follow, because that is absolutely not what I am implying. Let me help you understand. First of all, please direct me to where I spoke to the benefits of the 800-block of Pandora. I simply made a reference to how drunk idiots coming out of the bar are just as if not more of a threat to my safety than the street population.

 

I'm perfectly happy with where I live and understand that living in a high density area of Victoria means that I don't get to control what all that density entails. My argument is that the congregation of these services in a single two or three block radius is not good planning. Take View Towers for example, the crown jewel of what residential density should not become. Now look at the more "high end" condo buildings that maybe have a floor or two dedicated low-income housing, or some of the buildings mixed into Vic West. What do you view as a more successful model? I am a proponent of the argument that spreading these services throughout the downtown core is more beneficial than keeping them all to one small are. But please get it out of your mind that the only explanation for that is that I want these services out of my neighborhood and into someone else's. 

 

Mike, please don't try to belittle me because you don't agree with my opinion. The tone of your reply is extremely condescending...for you to build a false narrative of what I think and what I want for "my block" is insulting. It's because of these kind of comments from some of the power users that so many newcomers to this site feel so unwelcome. Fortunately I've much more of a longtime lurker than a poster, so I've come to expect that kind of response from you.


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#93 VicPushedOver

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:10 PM

The concentration of housing and services for the homeless creates more problems, Look at DTES, Tax money keeps pouring in, City of Vancouver is now spending a million dollars a day for the Homeless. The Homeless population keeps growing, and the situation is actually getting worse for the Homeless.

 

When homeless are congregated together it tends to reinforce the perception that homeless people are the community, and its the only community they belong to. Look at the homeless camp for an example of that.

It also allows easier access to drugs, having the homeless all together is more efficient for Homeless service providers, but its also makes it much easier and more profitable for drug dealers where they can integrate into a crowd, providing security for transactions.

 

Its another reason the Mount Edwards SRO conversion is wrong, its too big of a congregation, and its only a 15 minute walk from there to services on Pandora where they can link up with the rest of the "community".



#94 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:41 PM

Mount Edwards Community Awareness Coalition

 

https://www.facebook...wardsawareness/


<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#95 Mike K.

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:11 PM

I can see why you don't follow, because that is absolutely not what I am implying. Let me help you understand. First of all, please direct me to where I spoke to the benefits of the 800-block of Pandora. I simply made a reference to how drunk idiots coming out of the bar are just as if not more of a threat to my safety than the street population.

 

I'm perfectly happy with where I live and understand that living in a high density area of Victoria means that I don't get to control what all that density entails. My argument is that the congregation of these services in a single two or three block radius is not good planning. Take View Towers for example, the crown jewel of what residential density should not become. Now look at the more "high end" condo buildings that maybe have a floor or two dedicated low-income housing, or some of the buildings mixed into Vic West. What do you view as a more successful model? I am a proponent of the argument that spreading these services throughout the downtown core is more beneficial than keeping them all to one small are. But please get it out of your mind that the only explanation for that is that I want these services out of my neighborhood and into someone else's. 

 

Mike, please don't try to belittle me because you don't agree with my opinion. The tone of your reply is extremely condescending...for you to build a false narrative of what I think and what I want for "my block" is insulting. It's because of these kind of comments from some of the power users that so many newcomers to this site feel so unwelcome. Fortunately I've much more of a longtime lurker than a poster, so I've come to expect that kind of response from you.

 

There is not a single project in Victoria that mixes market housing with the sort of housing that is planned for Mount Edwards. Mixing people who earn $50,000 per year with people who earn $75,000, as is the case in a couple of buildings at Dockside Green, is not a spreading of services. Affordable housing is not a spreading of services.

 

Anyways, I'm not belittling you but I am reading between the lines. You don't want more of these services to be dumped onto your lap. And like I said I agree with you and would likely feel the same. Heck, I know what it's like when the idiots leave the bars at 2AM and I want them as far away from where I'm sleeping as possible. Would I want another nightclub to open up down the street? Hell no, one is enough, thank you very much.

 

But I disagree that your interpretation of the situation in the 800-blocks of Pandora and Johnson is as rosy as you make it sound. It's an area mired with problems -- I've witnessed them. I know people who work in the area, who live in the area, and they've had enough. I realize everyone's mileage varies and you might not be as moved or impacted by what's going on around your home but advocating that we should spread the exact same scenario to other neighbourhoods, just because you're OK with it, I simply cannot agree with. In fact I feel sorry that you and your neighbours have to put up with a lot of that stuff on a daily basis. But what are we supposed to do? Emulate those problems all over the place under the guise that it's a good thing?

 

So let's put away the extremely condescending accusations aside and let's be up front with each other. I'm more than willing to be real and upfront about my opinions.


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#96 Mike K.

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:14 PM

The concentration of housing and services for the homeless creates more problems, Look at DTES, Tax money keeps pouring in, City of Vancouver is now spending a million dollars a day for the Homeless. The Homeless population keeps growing, and the situation is actually getting worse for the Homeless.

 

When homeless are congregated together it tends to reinforce the perception that homeless people are the community, and its the only community they belong to. Look at the homeless camp for an example of that.

It also allows easier access to drugs, having the homeless all together is more efficient for Homeless service providers, but its also makes it much easier and more profitable for drug dealers where they can integrate into a crowd, providing security for transactions.

 

Its another reason the Mount Edwards SRO conversion is wrong, its too big of a congregation, and its only a 15 minute walk from there to services on Pandora where they can link up with the rest of the "community".

 

So are you saying we should put the facility somewhere in Saanich, say in Royal Oak?

 

I agree that Vancouver Street will not solve the issue of a "ghetto," or whatever. It will simply grow the area from Pandora at Vancouver to Rockland at Vancouver.


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#97 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:18 PM

Mayor Helps was to have an open meeting at the Cook St. Activity Centre today, 1pm to 2:30pm.  She cancelled.  I presume she might have been getting an earful from CSV and Mt. Edwards folks.


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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#98 VicPushedOver

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:40 PM

So are you saying we should put the facility somewhere in Saanich, say in Royal Oak?

 

I agree that Vancouver Street will not solve the issue of a "ghetto," or whatever. It will simply grow the area from Pandora at Vancouver to Rockland at Vancouver.

The facility proposed is too large, at 101 units, it would be one of the largest BC owned SRO's in the province, the largest is the infamous Marble Arch, DTES Vancouver at 142 rooms.  http://news.national...-on-renovations

 

Not Royal Oak specifically, but a gang banger drug dealer would certainly stand out more than on Pandora. I was suggesting several smaller facilities 15 to 30 people per residence away from the downtown core. 


Edited by VicPushedOver, 29 January 2016 - 01:40 PM.


#99 Nparker

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 02:05 PM

...Not Royal Oak specifically...I was suggesting several smaller facilities 15 to 30 people per residence away from the downtown core. 

I propose somewhere on Galiano Island especially now that we know a bridge is off the table.



#100 shoeflack

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 03:18 PM

There is not a single project in Victoria that mixes market housing with the sort of housing that is planned for Mount Edwards. Mixing people who earn $50,000 per year with people who earn $75,000, as is the case in a couple of buildings at Dockside Green, is not a spreading of services. Affordable housing is not a spreading of services.

 

Anyways, I'm not belittling you but I am reading between the lines. You don't want more of these services to be dumped onto your lap. And like I said I agree with you and would likely feel the same. Heck, I know what it's like when the idiots leave the bars at 2AM and I want them as far away from where I'm sleeping as possible. Would I want another nightclub to open up down the street? Hell no, one is enough, thank you very much.

 

But I disagree that your interpretation of the situation in the 800-blocks of Pandora and Johnson is as rosy as you make it sound. It's an area mired with problems -- I've witnessed them. I know people who work in the area, who live in the area, and they've had enough. I realize everyone's mileage varies and you might not be as moved or impacted by what's going on around your home but advocating that we should spread the exact same scenario to other neighbourhoods, just because you're OK with it, I simply cannot agree with. In fact I feel sorry that you and your neighbours have to put up with a lot of that stuff on a daily basis. But what are we supposed to do? Emulate those problems all over the place under the guise that it's a good thing?

 

So let's put away the extremely condescending accusations aside and let's be up front with each other. I'm more than willing to be real and upfront about my opinions.

 

I have not once said I do not want more of these services dumped on my lap. That is factually incorrect for you to state. I also have not presented the 800-block as being rosy. I actually described it as being crowded with people on steps, in line for cheques, and waiting outside Our Place. Doesn't sound so rosy to me. I even said how ugly it looks. So please try to read what I'm actually saying instead of reading between the lines. You'd be much better served in this conversation if you did so.

 

In fact, there's an empty Baptist Housing building on my block that would make a great supportive housing facility. I am being and have been perfectly up front in my two posts. I like where I live. Would I be opposed to more supportive housing in my neighborhood? No. Do I believe that spreading these services through the downtown core is beneficial? Yes. How my suggestion that spreading out services equals me being against these services in my area is beyond me.



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