Skip to content

LETTER: Communities of small houses needed

Diversifying housing options would benefit entire community
A 90-unit apartment building by Campbell Shores under construction at 1430 South Island Highway in Campbell River. Photo by Binny Paul/Campbell River Mirror

I moved to the Campbell River area two and a half years ago to be close to my family on Quadra Island.

I first stayed in a new apartment building in Willow Point. I kept my distance from most people in the building due to COVID, but from those I talked to outside I learned that many were in transition; trying to find a better and less expensive place to live. Many moved in, and out, while I was there.

My apartment was a small corridor without windows — or bedroom — but had a small balcony overlooking the parking area. I chose the building because they accepted one pet and I have a small dog. When I moved out the rent was increased to approximately $1,500.

I am not sure what the rent was for one or two bedrooms, and saw a few families with children.

I was born on Vancouver Island, and have been in Campbell River many times over the years. I see a trend to move wealthy pensioners or those looking for a vacation home to Campbell River at the expense of those that have lived here for years. I see less and less of “healthy” accommodation for young families, or pensioners that have rented in the area for many years.

I watched a group of pensioners get evicted from mobile homes that they had thought would be their lifelong homes on the waterfront as the land was sold to build yet another large apartment in Willow Point.

Why is the housing shortage focused on apartments when young families need communities of small houses - not the large housing complexes that only the wealthy can afford - wealthy that are sometimes not living on the island and purchasing simply to spend a few months of the summer here.

In the 1940’s many affordable “war time homes” were built. I am using the term “home” instead of “house” because they were real homes for young families as well as pensioners. The communities of these small homes raised healthy children with yards and vegetable gardens. This type of housing should be looked at before more apartments are built in Campbell River. This type of housing should be built and initially subsidized for local young families and seniors and not available to “outside investors.” These buildings could also be built “in a row” with separate small yards or Co Op Housing to be more cost effective.

Please - no more large apartments if we want to raise healthy families and communities in Campbell River.

Linda Grimm