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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Use old cruise ship as housing

Regulations are standing in the way of creating housing, says former Vancouver city councillor
A retired cruise ship could house 1,000 people, suggests former Vancouver city councillor. (Stock photo)

To the editor,

Building and providing housing has historically and increasingly been restricted by our very own governments. They have been adding regulation upon regulation and restriction upon restriction for decades. To the point that the price has been driven so high that fewer and fewer can afford to purchase and many cannot even find or meet the rental rates in today’s market.

We need to quit building castles in the air and start building foundations on the ground. The housing market has always been an issue and when I was on the Vancouver City Council in the early ’70s, it was hostelling travelling youths during summer months. We converted unused former military buildings to temporarily accommodate this demand. However, now our government public rules and regulations have become so complex that no initiative is now being shown. The answer is ‘we can’t do that because’ and that ‘because’ is another regulation that they put in place. Make no mistake, government can do anything it wants, and does. If they put a regulation in then they can take it out if it becomes an impediment to progress. But that is never done.

Whenever I have what I think is a good idea I only think of the positive side and why it will work. Then I take it to my friends in government and tell them the idea and they do all my negative thinking for me and tell me why it will never work.

For example, what about purchasing a retired cruise ship and drydock it on the shore. It could act as temporary housing for 1,000 people in single-occupancy rooms. Units are fully serviced with heat, light, kitchens, recreation, laundry, etc. Relatively instant housing as a temporary solution to taking the homeless out of the communities’ established neighbourhoods while exerting some control over their activity and health. OK, now let’s hear why it can’t work, followed by your suggested alternative. And keep in mind that jails and hospitals cost far more than my suggestion.

Brian Calder, Point Roberts, Wash.

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