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Letter: Duncan Housing Society disappointed by city’s decision on Duncan Manor

The proposed exchange was weighed significantly in the city’s favour

Duncan Housing Society disappointed by city’s decision on Duncan Manor

Re: City of Duncan turns down land-swap with Duncan Housing Society

It has been very disappointing to see so much misinformation disseminated in the community around the proposed affordable housing project at Duncan Manor, and related land swap.

With regard to concerns about the land swap removing parkland from Centennial Park, we would like to clarify that the proposed exchange was weighed significantly in the city’s favour. The city was to receive 2,426 sq. m. of land (current site of the lawn bowling club, owned by the Duncan Housing Society) in exchange for the society receiving 1,610 sq. m. of parking lot. This could have added 816 sq. m. of new greenspace to Centennial Park which the city could have used as a public amenity if they wished, while allowing for a significant increase in the number of affordable housing units. A win-win for the community.

By rejecting the land swap, the city has retained a parking lot for park users, but it comes at the expense of 133 units of modern, appropriate and affordable housing for Duncan seniors and people with disabilities. The lawn bowling club also remains under the ownership of the Duncan Housing Society and the need to replace the existing housing at Duncan Manor still looms.

All that said, our board and staff remain committed to replacing Duncan Manor and increasing access to affordable housing in the community to meet current and future needs. We look forward to continuing to work with the city and residents to bring this much needed project to fruition. We’d like to thank our staff, volunteers, project team and partners for all of their efforts thus far.

Cheryl Jones, board chair

Duncan Housing Society

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