Parksville residents raise money to fight supportive housing

Parksville residents raise money to fight supportive housing
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WATCH: A heated battle is brewing in Parksville this summer over that city and the BC government’s plans to build supportive housing for homeless there. Frustrated residents who have been fighting to stop it have launched a fundraising drive and already generated 25-thousand dollars for the legal fight they’re waging. As Skye Ryan reports they say more money is on the way and they’re not backing down.

Parskville locals are saying a supportive housing development that’s supposed to go up across the street is ruining their retirements.

“It’s making me mad right now. I feel the fury right now,” says Sandra Woodhouse, a Parksville resident.

Woodhouse has lived on Corfield Street for 20 years and says the supportive housing development going in a stone’s throw away, despite residents fight to stop it, has left her feeling furious as she and neighbours raise money for a legal battle to stop it.

“I’m totally against this. Everybody around here is against this,” says Parksville local Tara Protasiewich.

They’ve already fundraised $25,000 towards the goal.

“By hell or high water. We don’t’ want it. We don’t’ want it,” said Woodhouse.

The lot was rezoned against over 100 residents opposition. The move will provide 50 units for homeless and emergency winter shelter.

“Yeah they ignored us, they ignored that we have anything meaningful to say,” said Antarra Carr.

Residents say they’re worried about an increase in crime and drug use in their retirement community and say the lack of a hospital nearby should rule this site out for such a facility.

The provincial minister of housing maintains the Parksville facility will be an asset to that community once built and wasn’t daunted by the residents’ threat of a legal fight.

“I appreciate that there is anxiety around what it means to have supportive services for people who don’t’ have homes and we’ve been seeing this in other parts of the province as well. But at the end of the day, we’re finding that the housing, as well as the services, make a real difference in peoples lives.” said Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing Selina Robinson.

But for Woodhouse, this project already has her thinking of leaving.

“My dream, my bubble has burst. If that goes through I’ll just have to move somewhere else,” said Woodhouse.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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