Upgrading a vibrant downtown

Candidates fail to address issue of aging downtown apartment stock

Recently I attended an all candidates meeting hosted by the Sustainable Environment Network Society at the Schubert Centre.

Among all of the wonderful words for the future about more sustainable, up-to-date, cost-effective, small carbon footprint projects, I did not hear anything at all about plans to maintain already existing buildings and I refer in particular to downtown apartments here.

Much of the apartment stock seems to have been constructed in the mid-1970s and, while buildings are fair to decent on the exterior, the fact is most appear to have non-energy saving patio doors and windows with thin metal frames which leach heat into the outdoors, thus running up electric bills for tenants and no doubt, contributing to carbon emissions somewhere along the line.

They also are not always well fitting, and in with the chill air comes dampness which can contribute to mold growth.

Does the city have any intention of enforcing any existing bylaws or making some up to date bylaws to ensure these buildings already in existence downtown are upgraded to energy efficient standards?

While acknowledging new housing is necessary, maintenance and upgrading seem just as important for this “vibrant downtown” everyone is touting.

Perhaps a reduction in costs somewhere along the line for owners who upgrade might be an incentive.

I think there is some money under the federal infrastructure program for rental housing upgrades but I don’t see much filtering into downtown.

I am a resident, not an apartment owner.

 

Jessie Crawford-Brown, Vernon