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A hotel in the center of tug of war during the housing crisis on Salt Spring Island

BC Housing has rented a hotel room every three months since the start of COVID, but the contract expired on December 31st and Seabreeze owner Bob Ma decided to sell it.

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On Salt Spring Island, where housing is constantly scarce, small, dilapidated hotels are at the heart of the crisis.

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Salt Spring Island Community Services desperately needs 18 rooms of Seabreeze Inne to continue to accommodate the 20 vulnerable people who emerged from the tent during the pandemic.

However, Lady Mint, the island’s only hospital, is an island where vacant homes “simply don’t exist” and Seabreeze struggles to fill 31 vacant seats, from cleaning staff and cooks to technicians and nurses. Hope to accommodate staff in. “

BC Housing has rented a hotel room every three months since the start of COVID, but the contract expired on December 31st and Seabreeze owner Bob Ma decided to sell it.

The state is not bidding on the purchase of Seabreeze, as was done at three hotels in Victoria. There is an urgent need for the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation to intervene and buy Seabreeze for $ 4 million to protect the current workforce from “burnout” and add staff to keep the hotel as a community housing asset. Suggested to deal with sex. Hotel owners are also considering offering to sell to hotel operators.

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“It’s a turning point in terms of staff,” said Roberta Martell, Managing Director of the Lady Minth Hospital Foundation. “People finish the shift and no one takes over. Some stay. Some come on holidays. But there is burnout and some smoking cessation, which is everyone on Salt Spring Island. Should be a concern for us. “

The island has a population of about 12,000 and thousands of people swell during the summer. The hospital also serves the surrounding Gulf Islands.

According to Martell, the sale relies on inspection and approval from Foundation members to withdraw approximately $ 2.5 million from the fund, and a fundraising campaign to raise more than the same amount to complete purchases, repairs and modifications. It is said that it is. According to Martell, the Foundation was waiting for the Salt Spring Community Services to make its first purchase. She also said she extended the potential signing agreement to mid-February, hoping that it would give the state and community services time to find alternative spaces.

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She said she is in talks with representatives of BC Housing, Community Services, politicians, and Islands Trust about what role the Foundation can play in the Sea Breeze transition.

Rob Grant, Executive Director of Salt Spring Community Services, has accused BC Housing of dropping the ball. “”[B.C. Housing] I’ve been aware of this for over a year, “Grant said. “I knew this was a train wreck. They sat in their hands.”

Community services have had about 20 residents in Seabreeze for over a year, paying owners $ 1,200 to $ 1,600 per month for each room, some with a kitchen.

Grant said he hopes BC Housing will continue to provide shelter, as in Victoria, where Mayor Lisa Helps declared that everyone would evacuate during a pandemic. “But now it will return to the street without housing,” he said.

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The original shelter of Salt Spring on the Ganges is full of waiting lists.

The metropolitan area owns land on Drake Road between affordable housing development and primary schools, and the islanders say it will be a good place for hospital foundation housing planning.

Hannah Brown, a resident of Salt Spring Island, said, “If the hospital foundation is considering a CRD property that is already partitioned for multi-family homes and has enough water for more than 30 units. It could be a situation that benefits both parties. ” Email. “This property is suitable for hospital staff housing and can offer more units than Seabreeze.”

But Martell said the Foundation has no funding or expertise in housing construction.

BC Housing said it recognizes the need for safe and secure housing for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness on Salt Spring Island.

“We are currently exploring options and conducting due diligence to determine the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for the community and to prevent anyone from evacuating.”

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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A hotel in the center of tug of war during the housing crisis on Salt Spring Island

Source link A hotel in the center of tug of war during the housing crisis on Salt Spring Island

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