Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Social Housing may be halved in Olympic Village

I know I should leave this alone, but yesterday's CBC and CKNW stories re: Olympic Village housing were headlined that the city was considering reducing the social housing by half. When Geoff Meggs came on CBC's On the Coast before me, he corrected this. He confirmed that the city had always intended that only half of the 252 units be rented to 'core needy' households. (This refers to households with an income in the lowest quintile.)

However, when I picked up my copies of 24Hours and MetroNews this morning both had the headline 'Social housing may be halved'. The Mayor was quoted as saying "financial realities are forcing us to scale back somewhat" in the Metro paper. He told 24Hours "its unfortunately so expensive because of cost over runs and frankly, mismanagement by the past Council in containing costs on the project."

I gather from Frances Bula that the City Manager held a press briefing to ensure that everyone got the story right. Now while I have only had limited dealings with Penny Ballem, she has always struck me as a straight shooter. But what I want to know is why is she, and the Mayor, seeming to give the media the impression that the number of social housing units has been cut in half. Or have they all got it wrong?

The reality is, the total number of social housing units hasn't changed in the last 4 years. Something's not right here. It's a shame when politics are allowed to interfere with common sense.

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