There’s been a lot of talk this week about what to do with the Royal Edward Arms.
The historic building was once the heart and soul of the city’s south side. Today many would say it’s a junkie’s paradise.
Indeed, Mayor Keith Hobbs last week called it a cesspool.
The Thunder?Bay District Social Services?Adminstration Board, which operates the once-proud facility, wants to wash its hands of the building, turning it back over to the city in 2015.
On Monday, Coun. Aldo Ruberto, wearing his DSSAB vice-chairman hat, said the city should take it over, renovate it, and possibly sell it to the private sector.
The building needs millions in upgrades.
But what becomes of those who live there??Sure, they have two years to find accommodations. But already on assistance, what options remain?
There’s already a waiting list of about 1,200 of Thunder?Bay’s most vulnerable people looking for social housing.
The city and DSSAB owe it to the disenfranchised to explore all opportunities to keep the?Royal Edward Arms available as low-income housing.
Certainly this is not a do-it-at-all-costs affair, but putting even more people on the streets isn’t the answer.
The city needs more affordable housing, not less. This would be a step backward and likely lead to more problems, not fewer.
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