President of the Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society, Timothy Innes, shows one of the retrofitted rooms in the former Anchor Inn. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

COLUMN: Affordable safe housing for all

On the importance of supporting all housing projects in Prince Rupert

At the Northern View, we love receiving Letters to the Editor. It’s always important to hear back from the community we cover.

On the next page, you can read a Letter to the Editor in response to an editorial by the View. Marg Ciccone dropped off her letter last Thursday — the same day the newspaper comes out. She suggests we should “engage in some real investigative reporting” into the low-income units at the Anchor Inn, and if she had read that week’s issue of the paper, she would see we had.

I went to the Anchor Inn for a tour through their in-progress retrofitting. While there, I was told about the partnership between the Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society and BC Housing to provide low-income housing for everyone (not only for Indigenous people as Ciccone states in her letter). As someone who has stepped foot in the units and seen first-hand what’s available, I can say the upgrade has all the basics anyone could ask for.

READ MORE: Former Anchor Inn to be home to 46 low-income units

It’s great that the 46 units are getting help from BC Housing. But the editorial in question asked why they shouldn’t get the same treatment from the city as religious organizations? Instead, we ask: where is the separation of church and state?

I do, like many people in Prince Rupert, rent my apartment. I’m often told how lucky I am for the place I landed, and I agree. But being able to find affordable and safe housing in Prince Rupert shouldn’t be the luck of the draw or based on who you know — it should be the norm. This project is working toward that initiative and deserves recognition for their efforts, not criticism.

READ MORE: In Our Opinion: In all fairness

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