When a government wants to do something – such as spend $10-12 million on a film awards show, or implement double-digit salary increases, or charge seniors $25 a week for wheelchairs, or (closer to home) subsidize a professional hockey team – it’s done quickly and without public input.
When they don’t want to do something, excuses abound – no money, it’s not our responsibility, the neighbours won’t like it, we’ll just attract the wrong kind of people, etc.
As far as housing for those in need is concerned, these excuses are hollow.
Mixed housing can work very well – an example is Vancouver’s south False Creek flats. A literal stone’s throw from (very) pricey waterfront condos sit government-sponsored units.
Even though they are decades-old, they have not been allowed to deteriorate through neglect. There is no need for neighbours to complain.
The people we see trying to exist on our streets may need the kind of supportive care that is lacking in our fine province, and that lacking sorely needs to be addressed.
As far as costs are concerned, a large component of building expense is the cost of land – the Fraser Health lands on McCallum are tailor-made for the kind of housing required – it is a travesty that they have they been allowed to sit bare for so many years.