Condo-prompted evictions a sign of the times
Non-profits scramble to find affordable office space
A St. John's city councillor says he is becoming uncomfortably familiar with plights of groups who are having trouble holding on to their office space amid an ongoing building boom.
Three non-profit groups in Virginia Park Plaza have been told to be out of the complex by Sept. 30. The plaza is being turned into condominiums.
The groups have said they will have a hard time finding appropriate space where they can continue to work.
Coun. Danny Breen said he has been hearing similar stories across St. John's.
"It's really no different — you have organizations who are facing reductions in their funding. It's becoming more difficult for them to find space to operate out of," Breen said.
One of the affected groups is Community Sector Council, an umbrella organization that has been operated in the space for many years. CEO Penny Rowe said the council will have to dramatically downscale to find space that it can afford.
Elaine Balsom, who works with the Single Parents' Association, said her group has specific needs because of the services it provides to people who typically have low incomes and must rely on public transit.
"If we're somewhere away from the buses, they're not going to be able to get to our services," she told CBC News.
"Our food bank, our clothing, our employment program, back-to-school — all of those depend on our location so very much."