Home > Roundup > Vancouver Courier’s Cheryl Rossi leads way on Athlete’s Village story

Vancouver Courier’s Cheryl Rossi leads way on Athlete’s Village story

March 2, 2011

When you work for a skin-flint community newspaper chain, competing with daily papers  staffed by reporters who may work for the same corporation but are nonetheless infinitely better financed can be difficult.

So it’s pretty high praise when City Caucus’s Mike Klassen writes the following about Vancouver Courier reporter Cheryl Rossi‘s work:

With the possible exception of Frances Bula, no other reporter than Cheryl Rossi at the Vancouver Courier has done a better job of documenting what has been happening at the Olympic Athlete’s Village on Southeast False Creek in recent months around the rental housing issue. Rossi broke the story last August that the City’s rental plan had stalled (because council had delayed their decision until after the Olympics), triggering a whole series of political earthquakes at the Village.

Ultimately the Village went into receivership, and the public was figuring out that Gregor “train wreck” Robertson’s running down of the project for political purposes had cost Vancouver taxpayers $150 million.

On Friday Rossi’s latest report titled Plan favouring ‘essential’ workers as tenants for Olympic Village flops shows that the plan moved by Coun. Geoff Meggs, seconded by Raymond Louie during an overnight city council meeting, has been a costly bust.

What you think of Mike Klassen likely depends on your political affiliation. But that’s neither here nor there. I can’t keep track of how community newspaper reporters cover ongoing, technical issues like the Athlete’s Village thing, so that type of reporting will fly under this blog’s radar, but I’m glad to see Cheryl leading the way on what has become a huge issue in the province’s media hub.

Here’s the start of that above-mentioned story:

Filling the city’s market rental apartments at The Village on False Creek with essential services workers hasn’t worked.

In January, 283 applicants had signed up for a waiting list to get into 126 market rental units given priority by the city to essential workers, including police officers, teachers and nurses, at the former Olympic Village.

But as of this week, only 15 of 252 suites the city owns at the project have been rented to essential workers, and 41 of the suites have been rented overall. “We’re fully engaged in going out to the general public now,” said Thom Armstrong, executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia, which through its COHO Property Management spinoff, is recruiting tenants for the suites on behalf of the city.

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