EDITORIAL: Tent city highlights housing issue in Greater Victoria, West Shore

As crews cleaned up what remained of Victoria's tent city, it's timely to look at what's needed for future housing affordability.

Crews were busy on Monday cleaning up what remained of Victoria’s notorious tent city as the court ordered deadline for residents to vacate finally arrived.

While at the time of this writing a few stragglers still remained, many of whom have been vocal about their right to sleep in a tent on public land, that option is no longer legally available to them at that location. As many of these residents transition into new housing, the conversation brought on by the homeless encampment is also changing.

Many are warning that another tent city could spring up in any jurisdiction within the Capital Regional District, as residents continue to struggle to find housing options that suit their needs. While a lot has been done to address this, more still needs to be done. At the very least the creation of more housing options across the region, including the temporary Choices Transitional Home in View Royal, has been a sign of good faith from a government that hasn’t historically leaned towards these types of programs. It is left to be seen whether this is a genuine shift or a ploy to persuade voters leading up to an election year.

Creating more spaces may not be the permanent solution many are hoping for. It is, however, a step in the right direction. But it’s not just the residents of tent city that are in need of more low cost housing options. Many residents on the West Shore and across the region are struggling to find accommodations that fit within their monthly budgets.

We’re not saying everyone should be entitled to a government hand-up when it comes to making ends meet. But as Victoria’s housing market continues to heat up, the region’s limited number of low cost housing units is put under an even greater strain to meet demand.

We hope that all municipalities in our region, especially those on the West Shore, continue to look at expanding their housing programs to include more rental options as well as new builds that offer below market cost accommodations for those trying to make it on their own, but need a little boost.

Just Posted

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

Declining cellphone charges lead to drop in B.C. inflation rate

Year-to-year inflation in British Columbia stood at 2.1 per cent in July 2019, down 0.5 per cent

VIDEO: Gender transition of Victoria’s ‘Penny Girl’ detailed in short documentary

Frankie Edroff’s transition and perseverance highlighted in film

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Most Read