Neighbours bamboozled

A literature review by the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction at SFU indicates that property values have not declined with supportive housing.

The report looked at 18 different studies and found there was no significant effect on either the sale price of homes in the neighbourhood or on the number of sales.

A 1996 study by the Housing Ministry in B.C. looked at the impacts of seven social housing projects on neighbouring property values. The study demonstrated that social housing projects have not had a negative impact on the sale prices of nearby homes based on a comparison with a control area.

I live on Agassiz Road in Kelowna. At meetings before construction of the new wet facility nearby, the above information was provided. Most people in the neighbourhood did not believe this. 

I have just received my property assessment. 

Last year, it was assessed at $502,000. This year it is $438,000. A loss of $64,000. 

The average drop for Kelowna is 1-2%. Mine 14%. 

Obviously, we were lied to. It makes sense that when you move people with addictions, mental illness and other issues into a residential area, problems will likely ensue. No on-site services are to be provided. The residents can use alcohol and drugs as they wish. This area consists mainly of seniors, a poor fit. 

A new children’s playground is almost complete just few feet away. A convenient place for the new residents to congregate, the woodchip surface a great place to throw needles. 

The building is not yet complete, no new residents yet, but property values have dropped dramatically. 

Our neighbourhood is expected to welcome this change. If it were residences for single parents, low-income seniors or handicapped, we would welcome them as neighbours. 

We have been bamboozled. 

Joanna Blacklock, Kelowna

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