Housing needs full cooperation

Carol Sabo's affordable housing proposal for Terrace would have benefited from more community consultation

I was puzzled by Carol Sabo’s May 21, 2014 letter, “City land use draws query.” She has brought up this issue a number of months ago but there is no new information here. If the Standard is re-printing Carol’s side of the story, have you found out what the facts are? If this is the best possible project, why is the ity not working with Ksan as stated? What is missing?

I have to admit, I only have a limited knowledge of this project based on Carol’s presentation to the city and her side of the story in your paper. But there have been many red flags raised for my liking:

1. Carol listed many of our organizations/volunteers – about a dozen or more – claiming that we would be building these units. None of us have been asked, consulted or informed prior or even after her presentation.

I’m all for a community project but it requires community input. I personally have no expertise in construction and very limited time between my work, family and volunteering. Are we going to become a target, just like the city council, if we are unable to fit into Carol’s vision?

2. Terrace has a very limited tax base, facing huge demands on housing. Could the reality be that the property in question could be used for a higher density affordable housing? I believe that the role of any government is to offset impacts of free market, fill gaps not covered by its forces for those most vulnerable but it also has to find the best possible value for its money/property.

3. Community dialogue and collaboration. I applaud Carol and Ksan in accomplishing a lot in the community but I am a very strong believer in the power and wisdom of community collaboration, and planning together. It provides the level of engagement that this project seems to be lacking. It brings people together looking at any project from all different angles. Yes, it does take longer than a solo project, but it usually is more meaningful and inclusive.

There is a housing committee and I also heard a call for establishing housing society for Terrace which would look at all aspects of housing and would be able to take on variety of projects. I support that.

Terrace needs all of us to come up with solutions to house people, and address other issues heading our way. I have seen the incredible joy and relief in a newcomer’s face who just found a bachelor suite after one year of being homeless with a full time job! I encourage Carol and the Ksan Society to work with the city and the community, share your plans, let us help but let’s not fight each other when we all want the same thing.

Sasa Loggin, Skeena Diversity,

Terrace, BC