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Courtenay housing project raises concerns for local neighbours

A new provincial housing project is causing concern for local neighbours.

In late March, the province announced they bought property on Braidwood Avenue to build 60 supportive housing units for people in need in Courtenay.

Related: Province purchases land in Courtenay for homeless supportive housing – My Comox Valley Now

Spokesperson for the 925 Braidwood neighbours group Scott Larsen says they were surprised by the purchase.

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“We heard about it through media, we read about the purchase back in March and the six of us went to the city council meeting to talk to them,” said Larsen. “We had our first public meeting at Ricky’s Grill, and it was about an hour and a half to two hours and people fielded a lot of questions and I tried to answer as many as possible.”

He says they weren’t informed about the purchase beforehand, resulting in the group being formed to get more transparency about the process of the project.

The viability of the two shelters along Ryan Road is a main concern, according to Larsen.

“Is it safe for the homeless to be there because they are going to be crossing the street, is it safe for the motorists?” said Larsen. “A lot of their support network, like healthcare and mental health, are across the river so how are they going to transport back there?”

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Larsen says in response to a lack of forthcoming information, the group held their own press conference earlier this month.

He hopes they can ask questions to both the City of Courtenay and BC Housing and have their concerns about the project considered in its development.

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