At the Brandon City Council meeting on Nov. 19, it was decided that the bid for the development of the former police station, on 13th Street, should be given to a private developer. Also making bids were senior’s co-op housing and the local mental health group. So “seniors” listen up! This affects you.
Once again (remember the Fleming school property) the majority of city council has decided you should put your life on hold. And young families, are okay with your present or no housing? There, apparently, is no immediate need for additions to the affordable housing inventory. Oh yes, affordable housing is coming when the “Black” property is developed. It may take three or four years and then you can live in isolation and amidst constant construction.
It was a great day when we learned that the City of Brandon, on our behalf, was making affordable housing a priority. But you know what? Words never made a place to live. We need action.
Several council members brought that thought into the discussion regarding the use of this property on 13th Street. Certainly none had gone hungry at that meeting considering the number of “red herrings” that were put on the table.
It may be a surprise to some that those moving into the assisted living condos will not leave behind affordable housing. And as far as the suggestion that to provide the opportunity to build affordable housing was not a city responsibility but that of government, I would like to remind that speaker, that at whatever level, it is the taxpayer that pays. And the suggestion of non-profits working with developers — been there, done that.
We are wasting valuable resources in putting assisted living in this area when you get meals, transportation, recreation, socialization — the complete package. This area is perfect for those with limited income and/or mobility. It is within walking distance of groceries, hardware, medical, transportation, a community centre and schools. Has the city considered none of this available in the suggested “Black” project?
Oh well I have rufus and goofus to keep me company. So why am I concerned? Simply because I believe when a commitment is made it should be kept.
My thanks to those members of council who so ably defended their belief in a commitment. Where there is life there is hope, faint as it my be.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 21, 2012