Thursday, September 30, 2010

Government Stalls Olympic Housing

Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Yesterday, the British Columbia Government announced that it was rejecting all three bids to operate the affordable housing component at Olympic Village.

While one bid was to operate the affordable units as a housing cooperative and which Minister Rich Coleman properly asserts is not part of the government's mandate but why another bid from the Portland Community Services was rejected makes no sense.

The Portland has a credible reputation operating its significant housing portfolio and their buildings are safe and secure for tenants residing in them.

Moreover, the Leadership at the Portland is strong and competent. Mark Townsend and Liz Evans are well respected and known for improving community life for many.

The Portland also operates a number of business operations including the Potluck and Radio Station cafes, a low cost food store plus the successful Interurban Art Gallery.

Mr Townsend and Ms Evans have been in leadership positions with the Portland since 1990 and they have overseen tremendous growth while successfully overseeing a portfolio budget now in the millions of dollars.

With winter approaching and people in need of affordable housing it seems negligent on the part of government to reject the Portland bid and hopefully after some sober second thought will re-examine its decision and award the affordable housing to the Portland Hotel Society.

Jamie Lee Hamilton