WR YIMBY, a group with which I am very involved, recently announced a gofundme in support of oneROOF. This was driven by a desire to assist oneROOF with legal fees resulting from some neighbours appealing a recent approval for additional affordable housing for youth. A resident from that neighbourhood, hearing of this fundraiser, reached out to me to provide additional context. That neighbour also encouraged me to watch the 3+ hour Committee of Adjustment meeting where over 20 residents spoke out against this proposed expansion. I have watched that meeting (and you can do so as well, here, starting around 1:10:00) and I have a few thoughts.
As someone who watches many neighbourhood and council meetings, I was not surprised by many of the concerns shared by these delegations. There were concerns about density, crime, and oversaturation of similar community services and supports. Many residents said that they no longer feel safe in their neighbourhoods.
As the meeting wrapped up, I couldn’t help but think that there has to be a better way of doing all of this. As someone in favour of building up and not out, I don't often share concerns around height, density, and the like. However, I think all of us want our community to feel safe. And I think most of us see value in organizations such as oneROOF to offer care and resources to our community. Yet, at times, it can feel like we are all fighting against each other on city building issues. It has me yearning for a better way.
With that in mind, I have listed a few potential ways of moving forward that could benefit our community as a whole.
Those are a few of my ideas. I'd love to hear what you think of them, as well as any other ideas you would add to that list. Feel free to comment!