>> Chantille Viaud

Last week Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) report confirmed what many of us have known for a while from friends or personal experience: that rent prices have grown at a record pace while the vacancy rates are the lowest since 2001.

Also last week, Victoria’s city council adopted the missing middle program, aimed at encouraging a greater number of housing options and allowing families to stay in the city.

Housing availability and affordability is top of mind for so many people and it is one of the things we were able to talk about recently, when 8 MLAs came to see the work we do at Fernwood NRG.

As a neighbourhood house, we know that providing housing is critical to the well-being and stability for families. This is why we are so excited for the new affordable housing complex coming into our neighbourhood across the street. The Caledonia Housing project will bring 158 new spaces for people who need it to Fernwood, and many new families will join our community.

To welcome these new neighbours into our community, through programs and services, and special celebrations, Fernwood NRG needs to have stable funding and adequate space. As it is right now, we have staff squished in offices, and not enough space for the programs that we and people in Fernwood want to do.

It was good to have the opportunity talk about this challenge with the visiting MLAs, and also to tell them stories about the positive impacts of the work our staff do: how they change lives and support people in our community every day.

You can help us! Share your stories with us so we can demonstrate the impact of the work we do to help us get the support and resources we need to better support you and the Fernwood community. Email chantille@fernwoodnrg.ca to share your story.