Thinking back on the year that was 2018 the thing that stands out as one of the greatest accomplishments for this community is the recent announcement that Lower Similkameen Community Services Society received funding to build another 40 units of affordable housing in our community.
For some, that might not seem like a big deal and for others who live far away from reality they might even question “exactly what kind of people are those units going to attract,” but for those that rent, for those on fixed incomes, for those raising children alone – they know too well what those units will mean.
The housing crisis not only impacts people in Vancouver it impacts people right here in our community. Having a stock of 40 units whether affordable or market value means housing stability for people who want to live in this community but cannot afford to buy property or the days of them owning and keeping up property are long over.
These newly approved units plus the ones that are currently under construction now geared to seniors will mean more than 60 units will be built in Keremeos over the next few years. That’s in addition to what is going on privately with new subdivisions on the horizon, and work being done to clean up other areas of the community for housing.
Why this is the story that strikes us the most is that it wasn’t too long ago the Review was running stories about the difficulties of people finding homes, and that some are forced to live in horrid conditions because there simply is nowhere to rent.
You might remember the story where the Review revealed a family was living in a crawl space of a home because there was nothing else available for them.
Our leaders, those at LSCSS, the village staff, local and provincial politicians heard this and are working together on solutions. They support each other on this front and work quietly behind the scenes all the time to deal with this very real and scary situation.
Different groups and leaders working together in the ways that they can to come up with a solution is hopefully something that happens more in 2019.
It’s what we need as a community more than ever. This past year included some scary times with the flooding and the fires and through it all I hope we learned we can count on each other. Now, that we have that foundation, let’s continue to move forward and help one another accomplish great things.
We’re all in this together.
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