Letter: Affordable housing critical in Vernon

I am a long-term tenant of an affordable housing complex and wanted to tell my story.

I am a long-term tenant of an affordable housing complex and wanted to tell my story of what living in affordable housing has meant to me and my daughter.

I was born with a congenital, chronic pancreatic condition. After my divorce, I found myself on my own with a young child. We moved a lot, trying to keep ahead of rising rents, often renting places that were, I felt unsafe for myself and my young daughter, not to mention dirty, unkempt and in need of repair.

When I applied for affordable housing with Vernon Native Housing Society, I was being hospitalized a lot for my pancreatic condition. I received a call that I had been pre-selected for a new development, I even knew what unit was going to be mine. My daughter and I went by each week to see the progress, we were both so very excited. I just wanted an affordable, clean and safe place to raise her.

We moved into our new home. My hospital visits dropped dramatically. I could afford fresh, wholesome food for the first time in a long time, something I had been advised time and time again would help my condition, I simply couldn’t afford it. My health, both mentally and physically improved.

Although I will always have my pancreatic disorder, another of my conditions, my diabetes is in remission. I could afford a vehicle and insurance. Getting to doctor’s appointments, socializing, just being able to get from one place to another was now an option.

Having heard that another affordable housing project was being constructed was great to hear. I know that these projects always are met with opposition; I saw it myself here at this complex. But they are so needed.

It’s difficult to put into words the difference it made in our lives; I am very grateful for the opportunity to live in such housing. I know there are many others like me that would benefit from the same opportunity.

Kathy Mckenzie

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