[Fwd: Military Barracks for Poor]

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Wed, 15 Apr 1998 11:41:29 -0400

> April 15, 1998
>                       Calgary Sun
>     Military barracks at CFB Calgary will soon house some of
>   Calgary's working poor, but one city alderman said she isn't so sure
>   they're welcome.
>     The city is set to announce a new deal with Canada Lands
>   Company Ltd. to lease space on the former military base and
>   convert it to temporary housing.
>     The shelter will provide stopgap accommodations for people who
>   have jobs but can't afford -- or can't find -- affordable housing.
>     "This will give people some breathing space until they find
>   affordable housing or save up enough for their own place," said
>   Ald. Joanne Kerr.
>     She said a person needs up to $2,000 to move into their own
>   place for things like a damage deposit, first month's rent, utilities
>   deposits and food.
>     Mark McCullough, general manager of real estate for Canada
>   Lands, said the city is looking at buildings around the parade square
>   on the west side of Crowchild Tr.
>     "We are in negotiations and hope to finalize an agreement in
>   principle this week," he said. "We are filling an interim need so it
>   will be a short-term lease with the city."
>     Still, Kerr said Canada Lands has been less than willing to
>   provide affordable or interim housing.
>     "They offered us the oldest barracks with the highest operating
>   costs," said Kerr. "By the time supervision costs were added, rents
>   would have been $625 per month per room -- with shared
>   bathrooms and no kitchen facilities.
>     "I got their message loud and clear and it was: `We're not
>   interested in having you here.'"
>     The deal follows months of discussions between Canada Lands,
>   Calhome Properties Ltd. (the city's housing agency), and city
>   community and social development officials.
>     Mayor Al Duerr said while interim and crisis housing is
>   desperately needed, the first offer was unacceptable.
>     Duerr knows demand for CFB sites is hot: "Unfortunately, we're
>   here competing with other users that will potentially generate more
>   money for CLC."
>     Officials estimate almost half of the more than 800 homeless
>   people in Calgary have fulltime jobs.
>     Last month, the waiting list for subsidized housing at Calhome
>   Properties had more than 1,100 names.
>     Stuart Round of CLC said his company's mandate is "to optimize
>   the value" of the area to the community.
>     He argues existing base housing is affordable, noting well over
>   300 of the 500 available units are leased to short-term renters and
>   newcomers to Calgary.

Graeme Bacque
(#2226799 on ICQ)
++Question and challenge *all* human 'authority'++