Just get some housing up please

Next election I don’t care which party it is I am voting for, the party that has the biggest and best housing plan for our whole country, including our Native reserves, is the party that gets MY vote.

Housing on Native reserves is downright dangerous in some places. Would you personally live the way you seem to be ignoring?

Endless meetings of so many well-intentioned people over the years that result in nothing actually going forward. Sometimes it seems that the lack of housing is an industry in itself. How many units could be built with the costs associated with those meetings over the years?

Every level of government passing the responsibility buck each to the other; no one will claim responsibility for the issue and tackle it head on.

So many good ideas, from tiny houses to towers. A tiny house five years ago was about twenty thousand dollars, but now, thanks to the open market and capitalism, they are around eighty thousand dollars – plus the cost of clearing the land and installing sewer, gas, and electrical services.

Economy of scale demands towers, keeping the cost per unit down. Taller buildings can be designed with earthquakes in mind.

Some people fear that towers and large-scale development can lead to ghettos but that is a matter of management – good management.

The new, so-called affordable, housing is simply not affordable for most people. It’s hundreds of dollars over their budgets for rent.

There is no more difference between social and affordable housing any more..Not when you can’t afford either. The line between the two are so blurred that you can’t tell one from another.

The last time I heard our Prime Minister address the issue was to say that there’s two million spare bedrooms in the country that can be filled to ease the burden a bit. But everyone deserves a place of their own, the privacy and quietude of one’s own home and hearth (you have a pretty big house in Ottawa yourself there Justin. How many rooms do you think you can rent out? LOL). A little levity to break the mood of this communication.

And this bringing in so many new immigrants? Total madness under the circumstances. Where will we find homes for all of them? We don’t have enough now. So you see, even other issues are being affected by the critical shortage of affordable housing.

As far as I can tell, we need around three thousand units just for the single people alone on our Island, not including single moms and traditional families.

We must identify each and every property owned by each and every municipality in the country, to build housing upon. The taxpayers own those properties and its time to start putting them to use.

The one idea that I can put forward here is that we need a cross-country rental registry. I bet that lots of people would be willing to move to where the housing is – especially us retired folks. A registry of rooms, apartments and individual homes all across our wonderful beautiful country. It’s very hard to know what is really out there to rent across Canada. There’s probably lots of small- or medium-sized pockets of housing available that we just don’t know about. I just don’t have the skills for it myself but someone more capable and knowledgeable about setting up a rental registry than myself could surely start one. Maybe someone reading this will run with the idea? Because I am out of ideas and patience. Just get some housing up please, and stop stalling and passing the buck. Stop it here and now. Next election, we shall see. We shall surely see.

Guy Walter Banks,

Campbell River

Editor’s Note: This letter has been modified to remove an erroneous passage regarding the construction of new housing units in Courtenay.

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