Some thoughts on Housing

I’ve been boning up on housing. It’s complicated. From high end to bottom end, there are shortages. But the need in the low end is most serious. But we don’t really know how bad it is. We don’t keep up-to-date statistics. Scot Smith says the last Canada Mortgage and Housing survey was about a year ago and doesn’t include all the private rental suites in town. But we know it’s tough to find a place, and expensive.

Yet we see buildings going up all over the place. According to city statistics The value of building permits has shot up from $16 million as the average for a year to $80 million. A new seniors home is about to be built, and one is about to open.

But even with all the new housing coming on line, prices are prohibitive for those living on fixed incomes, single women with children and lacking skills, those with disabilities and so on. So we see their desperation and despair on our streets and in shelters. The number of homeless from the latest survey a year or so ago is around 200.

I believe the Province is acutely aware of the issues and is working on them in their plodding, bureaucratic way. Consultation, and consensus takes time. I want to be part of bringing rent prices down and and rental vacancies going up, and will be looking for ideas and opportunities to do just that.

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