NIMBY Noise Makers Are in the Minority

Gord Fuller — September 29, 2010
Editor: Nanaimo Daily News

Re: ‘Neighbours don’t want low-cost housing nearby‘ (Daily News, Sept. 14) and ‘Rich end of Nanaimo has its share of problems’ (Daily News, Sept 20)

Sooner or later the dreaded term NIMBY will rear its ugly head when associated with these three recent stories. I have mentioned before that I believe those that are true NIMBYs are in the minority and, much like those they often accuse of abusing the social system, occupy an extremely small niche when it comes to categorizing human behaviour. So far I believe the letters and other comments show a true concern for this community.

As an advocate for social change and the overall decentralization of services to avoid concentration and ghettoization of any area, it behooves the city to enter into open discussion with the neighbourhood. It is a fact that poverty and addiction are not limited to any one area of the city and as such services should be interspersed throughout the greater community.

Low barrier housing is definitely one of these services. A number of properties are proposed for supportive housing throughout the city, a wise decision that took years for the city to buy into. If this form of housing is managed well, kept to a reasonable size and has adequate staffing, it can fit in. Often the result is, those receiving help become some of the strongest proponents for the neighbourhoods they are in.

Gordon W. Fuller