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LETTER: Housing crisis in Port Hardy needs to be taken seriously

“We have lost a good many citizens down island because there was nothing to rent here”

Dear editor,

Re: Multiplex project article in the June 19th newspaper

“…not only for retention of people that live in our area, but also for attracting people to move here to the true North Island…”

Mr. mayor, district council, unless something positive is done to deal with the rental situation here in Port Hardy you will be losing a lot of citizens. There are many good people here who, for whatever reason, cannot buy real estate (especially with the inflated prices) and given that there are NO places to rent they won’t stay and they won’t come here in the first place.

We came here in 2010 after my husband was medically forced to retire. We volunteered to work on the emergency committee becoming the ESS director(s). When the creekside fire happened we dealt with all the people evacuated, we tried to help the marginalized people who had nothing, no resources, no friends to stay with or what have you, but we lost 44 rental units which show no signs of being rebuilt.

A couple of weeks ago, another rental property had massive problems with the running water so tenants are trying to relocate from there. It’s a travesty, and NOTHING is being seen to be done about it.

We have lost a good many citizens down island because there was nothing to rent here. We now find ourselves in the same position. We have been evicted from the home we’ve lived in for eight years because the owner wishes to sell. As of noon on the 30th of June, we, my very ill husband, my brain trauma and broken backed son, my two grand children (ages six and 10) and me, 65 years old, dealing with advanced COPD and other things, are going to be HOMELESS.

Yup, there are so few units for rent here that we are not anyone’s first choice as renters due to our rather unique make up. That homelessness will likely force us to move down island too. I will lose my job and we will have to leave a community we chose to live in when hubby retired.

Renters are people too even if they don’t pay land taxes!

Norma Hemphill,

Port Hardy


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