Editorial: Time to step up with solutions

Penticton residents are living on crown land with no where to go

Winter is coming.

While for most of us that means turning on the heat in our homes, for some of the people who have been pushed out of the region and City of Penticton because they can’t find an affordable residence, it means pulling out the hairdryer to warm up.

That is exactly what one person forced to live in the bush told the Western News they do when they wake up in the morning to warm up.

Implications of not having affordable housing affect the whole community. It becomes difficult to attract new residents and investors. Schools are impacted when parents and their children have to move away because they can’t find a place to live.

A report referenced by the city earlier this summer indicated a need for more than 200 units of housing because the city’s shelters are operating over capacity.

Yes, the city has set areas aside for low-income housing, but the people of Carmi hill need answers now, not months or years from now. As a community we need to come together to help support initiatives that will find people homes, not snub our noses at these projects because of our own personal reasons. And we hope that there are some kind people in our community that can offer up their vacation homes for affordable rent, at least so these people can get through the winter.

Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres away, mayors and city councillors from across the province sat in a session on Thursday at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention to “(dissect) affordability — root causes and implications.” Let’s hope they bring back some good solutions. Real solutions, so they can look these folks living up Carmi in the face and explain to them how they will keep them warm this winter.

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