VIDEO: Derelict home demolished for social housing in Campbell River

Workers demolished a boarded-up house on Fir Street on Friday to make room for a new affordable housing project. Screengrab from video by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

The bucket of a backhoe smashed into the roof of a boarded-up house near downtown Campbell River on Friday, as workers prepared the Fir Street site for a new social housing project.

It’s been a long time coming, says Valery Puetz, executive director of the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (CRNITS).

“Housing supply is extremely short, especially low-cost housing, and it’s getting worse,” she said. “The available options get smaller every week.”

The lack of affordable housing hits women especially hard, she said. Many stay in abusive relationships because they might not be able to find housing if they leave.

The housing crisis also creates barriers for the reunification of women with kids in the child protection system.

“They need to have appropriate housing for that, and if they can’t find it, they often can’t have their children back.”

By April 2018, Indigenous children accounted for 63 per cent of those in the care of the provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Details about the facility haven’t been confirmed, but plans call for a four-storey building with a mix of studios and 1-3 bedroom units across three Fir Street properties.

The units will be geared towards women with low or medium incomes and their families. The B.C. government is providing $4.7 million for the 40-unit facility, which will be operated by CRNITS. The group provides support to women fleeing from violence.

READ MORE: Campbell River family struggles to find rental housing as eviction looms

READ MORE: Campbell River family’s ordeal prompts calls for more housing supply and protection for renters

READ MORE: Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Two derelict houses at 1134 and 1162 Fir St., both owned by BC Housing, are being torn down to make room for the project. A third property, the site of a former chiropractor’s office at 1180 Fir St., is owned by the city.

Elle Brovold, corporate officer for the City of Campbell River, said there had been no formal request from BC Housing for the property by Friday, although some discussions had taken place.

Puetz stressed the urgency of getting construction started as soon as possible.

“We need to get this housing moving quickly,” she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River Black Lives Matter protest draws nearly 200

Event in solidarity with movement to end systemic racism

NIC biologist on forefront of marine research

NIC biologist on forefront of marine research NIC biology instructor and marine… Continue reading

Campbell River RCMP issue statement in support of a peaceful rally and against racism

The Campbell River RCMP issued a statement in support of a peaceful… Continue reading

Road maintenance work scheduled for Black Creek and Quadra Island

Spring roadside work will be in progress along Highway 19 A and Granite Bay Road on multiple days

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read