The concentration of social housing and a controversial Habitat for Humanity project in Ward 7 were two issues raised by residents at a municipal election forum Tuesday night.
Incumbent Tony Caterina is being challenged by Scott McKeen, Brendan Van Alstine, Terry Rolls and Grant David Pullishy for the seat in the northeast Edmonton ward.
McKeen, a former city hall columnist at the Edmonton Journal, was peppered with questions from a woman who took issue with his past columns on a Habitat for Humanity project in the Bergman neighborhood.
McKeen was critical of residents who opposed the low-income housing project.
"We have been called NIMBY in more than one article written by one candidate that stands before me today," resident Joan Duiker said when she stepped up to the microphone.
But McKeen would not back down.
"Let me be crystal clear -- I supported the Habitat for Humanity project that went into Bergman," he said. "I have lived next to a Habitat for Humanity project in Clareview and it was wonderful and I stick by that."
The city is live streaming the forums for each ward on the web. One viewer asked Caterina to clarify what he meant when he called social housing "a burden" that should be shared by the rest of the city.
Caterina used a different word in clarifying his position.
"[It] has been time for a while to make sure the rest of the city shares in the responsibility of taking care of some of that housing," he said.
Van Alstine, a social worker, was also pushed for his stance on the Habitat for Humanity project.
"I live up the street from Habitat for Humanity so I don't see it as a major issue," he said.
The next municipal forums take place Wednesday night in Wards 3 and 11.