British Columbia

Bowen Island residents set up camp to protest lack of housing options

Protesters are frustrated that Bowen Island is the only municipality in the Metro Vancouver region with no social housing.

Residents claim many people on the island are living in ‘substandard’ conditions

'It's a small island … but the problem it has is real,' says camp resident Michael Chapman. (CBC News)

A group of people have started a homeless camp on Bowen Island, protesting what they call a lack of affordable homes on the island.

A handful of tents have been pitched at Crippen Park in Snug Cove and are currently home to around six people, according to camp resident Michael Chapman.

"The idea is this place is for people who need a safe place to stay until we solve this housing crisis," he said.

Chapman said many people on the island are living in what he calls "substandard" situations.

Peter Frinton says people are leaving Bowen Island because of a lack of housing options. (CBC News)

"They're living in trailers that are full of mould that don't have hookups to water or sewer, they're in tents in people's backyards, they're sleeping on friends' couches," he said.

'It's a small island … but the problem it has is real, and they probably need accommodation for about 10 people, I would say would be a good start."

Other residents like Peter Frinton said they're frustrated that Bowen Island is the only municipality in the Metro Vancouver region with no social housing.

"What is troubling is that there are people who are having to leave the island because they are no longer able to find a place to live, and so people are being squeezed," he said.

Camp residents are also claiming Airbnb properties have chewed into some of the island's long-term rental supply.

Camp residents claim some people on the island are living in trailers and tents in other people's backyards. (CBC News)

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