Housing needs to come first

Affordable housing is one of the great social issues of our age.

Middle-income households – and probably even some higher income ones – are struggling in the face of rising home prices and rental rates, if a rental unit can be found in the first place.

And none are more affected than the lower-income bracket, far too many of which are being driven into homelessness.

There are a lot of discussions about solutions, and lots of well-intentioned and good-hearted people trying to do what they can. All levels of government are looking at the problem, and there is even some investment.

The question we would like to address is whether enough is being done, particularly by those various levels of government.

In his theory of human motivation, Abraham Maslow placed things like food, clothing and shelter in the broad base of his pyramid of need. In other words, these are elements people need to satisfy before they can move on to safety, love and more esotaric needs.

It’s not unlike your home budget. You need to cover the cost of home and food before you can think about purchasing that new iPhone or 60-inch TV.

And perhaps it is something that government need to incorporate in their planning as well. There are lots of calls on our tax dollars, and for many necessities – roads, policing, health and education to name a few.

But there is still spending in any budget that is optional. That could be steered toward building housing for the homeless and low-income sections of our society, but also for middle-income, as a way of putting the brakes on spiralling prices.

If the government offers enough rentals at 25 per cent below market rates, the market will soon adjust its prices to more attractive levels.

Land is not something governments are short of. Whether it be local or federal, they own property that could be earmarked for housing. Or, if a public building is needed on that lot, why not build three stories of rental housing on top?

Yes, this is an utopian, and probably impossible dream. But the only real solution to the lack of affordable housing is to build more affordable housing, and federal, provincial and local governments need to make it more of a priority.

We have to look after our society’s most basic needs first.

Black Press~

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gilbertson ready to step down from organizing Barriere’s Walk For Alzheimer’s

By Margaret Houben Liz Gilbertson has been chairing the Barriere and Area… Continue reading

Don’t fall for scammer who says, “Your Windows license is expiring”

They explain you need to upgrade your operating system if you want your computer to keep working

Province seeks input into trails strategy

The Province and its partners have announced they are currently leading a… Continue reading

Soccer Academy every Friday at the Barriere Ridge

U4 to U13 youngsters excited about Lead Wolf Selects Soccer Academy

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read