Kristi Rivait of Ready-to-Rent BC will speak to landlords and prospective landlords in Nelson on Oct. 10, and take part in the community forum on Oct. 11. Photo submitted.

Opening Nelson’s doors to affordable housing

Three upcoming events highlight Homelessness Action Week

Does Nelson have more homeless people than other towns in B.C.? Are local non-profits creating a problem by offering services that attract them? What did they do in Medicine Hat to effectively end homelessness there?

Business owners and operators, employers, local elected officials and the public are invited to Addressing Homelessness in B.C. at the Hume Hotel at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Nick Falvo of Ottawa’s Carleton University Centre for Community Innovation will be a guest speaker, along with Dara Sutton of Medicine Hat’s successful Housing First approach to ending homelessness.

Falvo and Sutton will explore how communities and people are affected by homelessness, factors creating homelessness in B.C., what types of services and supports are and aren’t available, and initiatives possible for small towns like Nelson to help address the issue.

“We hope people will join in the discussion,” says realtor Chuck Bennett, who will be moderating the event as Honourary Chair of Nelson’s Homelessness Action Week.

Information for landlords

There’s a lot to know about being a landlord. A informational evening, question and answer session and discussion for landlords, property managers and people thinking about renting out a suite or house will be held in Nelson on Oct. 10. Kristi Rivait of Ready to Rent BC will speak on their RentSmart Program for landlords. The program helps landlords and property managers build knowledge, skills and capacity to create successful tenancies, and how to access the network of community supports to address issues if they arise.

The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Nelson and District Credit Union board room (enter at the rear of the building).

Community forum

A forum on affordable housing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at the Nelson United Church, moderated by Bennett.

Panelists will include Nelson city councillor Janice Morrison, city planner Pam Meirau, Selkirk College president Angus Graeme, local developer and builder Pat Davis, Nelson CARES executive director Jenny Robinson, businesswoman Jessica Curran (a Rent-To-Buy facilitator) and Rivait.

“Affordable housing has become an increasing issue of concern for our community over the past year,” said Bennett. “Whether you’re looking at young families trying to find an affordable place to rent or buy, employees moving here and looking for affordable housing, students, seniors on fixed incomes who want to down-size or rent, or people living on low-to-modest wages or on Income Assistance or a disability benefit – it is increasingly hard to find affordable housing options for people in town.”

The three events described above have been organized by the Nelson Committee on Homelessness.

“We hope to bring voices from various sectors of our community together,” says the committee’s coordinator Ann Harvey, “to discuss affordable housing and explore the needs and the possible options and opportunities to address this issue that is so fundamental to a healthy community.”


Nick Falvo of the Carleton University Centre for Community Innovation. Photo submitted

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