Thursday, June 20, 2024
June 20, 2024

Housing minister announces new plan for Seabreeze residents

A two-week extension of the current lease at the Seabreeze Inne has been secured to accommodate a plan to put modular units for current Seabreeze residents on a Kings Lane property.

According to a B.C. government press release issued late Thursday, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation (LMHF) has agreed to extend the current lease with BC Housing until July 15.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation for generously extending the lease at the Seabreeze Inne, providing people with a safe roof over their heads for the past six months,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “BC Housing continues to work diligently to build the new permanent supportive housing facility at Drake Road.”

The Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association (GISRA) has agreed to allow their site at 154 Kings Lane to create temporary housing until permanent, purpose-built supportive housing is operational at the Drake Road site owned by the Capital Regional District. GISRA bought the Kings Lane property to build a seniors housing complex, but has not yet been able to secure funding to do so.

The current Seabreeze lease between the LMHF and BC Housing was set to expire on June 30 and LMHF executive director Roberta Martell said it was ready to begin on-site renovations to create housing for hospital staff.

“We’re ready to go,” Martell told the Driftwood in a June 29 story. “We’re ready to empty the place out, rip out the carpet, curtains, beds, furniture, tubs, sinks — everything has to go. It has to go down to the basically bare bones so that we can then build it back up.”

Western Medical, which is building the new hospital emergency department, has received the renovation contract.

However, BC Housing told the Driftwood the previous week that the 161 Drake Road project — announced in January — was not ready for Seabreeze residents as planned and would not likely be completed until the spring of 2023.

“The temporary modular housing at 154 Kings Lane will have individual bedrooms, air conditioning, laundry, washrooms, shared common areas and meals,” states the press release.

“BC Housing is continuing its due diligence for the development at Drake Road, including environmental, riparian area assessments and water supply approvals. Once completed, the mobile unit will be dismantled, the land returned to GISRA and residents will move into their new permanent homes at Drake Road or to other housing options, depending on individual need.”

“I want to express my appreciation to the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation for their valuable work to offer the affordable housing needed to deliver community-based health care on Salt Spring Island. I wish them the best in their work to support the health of Salt Spring Islanders,” Eby said.

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  1. As resident at Seabreeze, I am perplexed by the necessity for me to insist that Lady Minto adhere to the laws of the land. No one is asking for special consideration here. Follow due process. No official notice has been provided to any tenant here, and not all of us were BCH clients. Surely, anyone buying a tenanted property would familiarize themselves with relevant legislation. Don’t let them spin this as morally elite LMH vs entitled transient squatters. This is administrative incompetence and arrogance. And it is against the law. Period.

    • Hi Rich Bahry,

      I agree that we should all adhere to the laws of the land as you suggest! Absolutely agree! Here’s a link to the law about the Seabreeze lease where you have said you stay. I hope it helps create a better understanding.

      That’s a link to the Residential Tenancy Act called ‘what this act does not apply to’. It’s only one page, and on that page there are eleven clear exemptions spelled out (from A to K) where residential tenancy stuff doesn’t apply… that’s stuff like oh… notice, eviction, renoviction, payment in lieu… all that stuff that folks are writing about wanting as clients of BC Housing who are guests at the Seabreeze.

      So, the piece that’s important is 4(f). I’ll write it out here, but invite folks to look it up for themselves. The law of the land as you appeal to says that the residential tenancy act… “does not apply to (f) living accommodation provided for emergency shelter or transitional housing”

      1. So, the law of the land says that the residential tenancy act does not apply to living accommodation provided for emergency shelter or transitional housing;

      2. The Seabreeze has been rented by BC Housing to provide transitional and emergency shelter.

      3. In our contract, all guests of BC Housing at the Seabreeze are clients of BC Housing,

      4. Therefore the residential tenancy act does not apply to any guests at the Seabreeze

      So, it is understandable that you seem angry at this, but if I understood your comment, what you’re demanding is adherence to the laws of the land. We agree with you. This is adherence to the laws of the land. According to the residential tenancy act. According to 4(f). According to the Attorney General.

      Due process has been followed. Relevant legislation is being consulted as noted above. And, no, this isn’t incompetence or arrogance, or against the law, or us vs. them. Period. It’s the law of the land as it has been explained to us by the Attorney General, in in agreement with his Ministry.

  2. Dear Roberta

    I have reviewed your rather pedantic response, and am appalled by your arrogance and cunning. Let us first clear up a public perception issue.
    We, the residents of Seabreeze, are not a homogeneous bag of misfits. Misfits, perhaps, but not identical. A few of us are seniors, long-term islanders, paying our own way. We are unlikely to be a danger to your neighbourhood. I must use a 4-wheel walker, and in the unlikely event of a walker-on-walker collision, impacts would be minimal.
    I had a tenancy agreement with Seabreeze long before you showed on the scene, and now you have arbitrarily deemed me to be in receipt of emergency housing. There was no emergency, I had a home, until now.
    Your selective application of Sec 4(f)i, is both untenable and unconscionable, and attempts to deny me my common rights. The terms emergency and transitional housing are clearly defined in the act and do not apply here. Why not treat people here fairly and openly, rather than engaging in legalistic track covering? You had plenty of time to do your due diligence.
    Your efforts to develop alternative housing are both admirable and not required of a new owner. They are a step up for those in emergency shelter situations. They will not, however, work for me. Once placed into the small room, I will be unable to leave it. Not to eat, wash, or defecate. Prison would be better. No tv or internet, the walls are going to close in. It’s only two steps up and down, but it might as well be a minefield.

    Follow the spirit of the law and the community, Roberta.


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