March 9. 2015
Most everything you wanted to know about the Riverview Village proposal is now posted on the project’s website Advantages of the community model, practical details of how the Village will be developed, the clinical benefits, relevant economic factors, relationships and belonging all are explored in an extensive Questions and Answers section now posted on www.riverviewvillage.ca. The relevant website page is directly accessible at http://riverviewvillage.ca/questions.htm. The posting of the additional details supplements the primary proposal document, “Riverview Village: an innovative, ground-breaking community for the Riverview Lands,” issued last year. It covers the questions that have come up in the interim, plus adding detail on virtually every aspect of the envisaged multi-purpose village – a community where those with a serious mental illness and those who are well will live side-by-side together.
Among other things, the Questions and Answers section goes into the crucial issue of whether the Lands will be protected from rampant market development, which many people, especially in Coquitlam, oppose. The envisaged community is in fact structured to prevent that from happening. All of the housing, including units for those who are well – and it will all be rental housing – will be be owned and managed by non-profit housing societies. “Commercial developers don’t even enter the picture,” the posting explains. “The non-profit ownership structure, made up of organizations dedicated to the wellbeing of the mentally ill, provides the best assurance for the protection of the integrity of the Lands and for their use as an intentional community for the mentally ill.” The document notes that some people object to any “market housing” on the Lands at all. In the proposed model, however, those residents without an illness are part of the therapeutic concept itself – the intentional community. Their participation is integral to helping their neighbours with an illness and to providing the clinical breakthrough inherent in the model. Their housing, consequently, is better described as “community housing at market rates” rather than impersonal “market housing” as the term is generally understood. If such residents are earning decent incomes, moreover, it only makes sense they pay market rates and contribute to the renewal of the Lands.
The new Questions and Answers section also addresses the possibility of treatment facilities on the Lands. It sees no problem with a dual-diagnosis treatment centre located at the northern end of the Lands. There are already three Fraser Health tertiary lodges at Riverview. “It’s important, though, such treatment facilities occupy just a small part of the Lands, with the Village being the key component,” the document notes.
Contact: Herschel Hardin, coordinator, the Riverview Village Project, 604-922-7153