One surprising aspect of the pandemic is how the housing and construction markets seem to have been unaffected.
It’s been business as usual for most in those industries, with little or no disruptions.
Locally, the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project continued and that’s probably a good thing. The project was originally in the 2011 Chemainus Revitalization Plan so it might never have been completed with any further delays.
Crofton Road improvements are now going great guns, another project that’s long overdue.
The fact they’ve both been happening without interruption is still remarkable, considering how many things have been put on hold and businesses are going through such a turbulent time. There’s the whole argument of being outside, of course, that means the protocols others are following don’t apply.
There’s many smaller projects all around Chemainus and Crofton neighbourhoods also being undertaken on a regular basis by the Municipality of North Cowichan.
Of all the work going on, the main project that’s been stalled without much of an explanation is BC Ferries’ Crofton ferry terminal redevelopment. It was just getting to the point of combining elements from two stages to formulate the final master plan.
BC Ferries hasn’t said when further planning will resume so there it sits, a major piece of the Crofton waterfront.
As for housing, prices continue to rise across the region and there’s no sign of a slowdown.
Whether it’s people who still have a lot of money kicking around speculating about cashing in further on their investments later or others deciding they’d better get in on the market now because it’s only going to continue rising with demand from all across Canada, it’s hard to say. Probably both and more explanations than that.
The bottom line is many residents are experiencing some disruption to their employment and having a tough time meeting basic needs so how they’re going to handle further strains on their budgets remains to be seen. Those on fixed incomes are just trying to keep their heads above water.
It’s an interesting and unprecedented time to see how we get out of this crisis economically in so many ways.