I am a parent of a homeless couple that has lived in the so-called homeless camp behind Kal Tire Place that was recently taken down by the City of Vernon at a staggering cost of $18,000.
City council is largely to blame for the homeless issue we face here in Vernon, which is critical.
All one has to do is look at the huge number of residential homes that have been given city approval to convert to a business.
My grandson and I did a quick count in a four-block area of the downtown border, and we counted 74 homes that are now businesses.
This means that about 150 rental units have been taken off the market (given a basement suite).
This alone would cure the crisis.
Continued redevelopment approval is adding to the crisis.
Higher tax dollars seem to speak louder than common sense. What is wrong with city council? This should never be allowed to happen in the heat of a rental crisis.
Single people on assistance are given $375 per month for rent, and this amount must include, heat, lights and water.
You can not rent anything for $375.
I am on disability assistance and raise a 10-year-old grandson. We receive $570 for rent, lights, heat, water.
I currently pay $850 for 585-square-feet, plus utilities, which brings my total shelter costs to more than $1,000 per month.
So I must use my food money to pay rent.
People on assistance are not allowed to room together, and pool their rent money to find something livable.
Decent rentals in Vernon are non-existent unless you can afford $1,500 or more per month plus utilities.
The city cannot now undue the approvals, so yes, because of greed on council’s part, it’s costing taxpayers thousands of wasted money doing cleanups, where that money could be better spent on decent housing for us not able to buy our own place.
Yes the provincial and federal governments need to step up to the plate and provide more resources, but council needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and stop the crisis they have created.