The issue of affordable housing is huge here in Richmond and throughout the Lower Mainland. Housing prices have sky rocketed over the past decade, which would be fine if incomes had kept pace - but they haven't.
Greater Vancouver is now one of the least affordable places to live in the world because of that gap.
In the good old days, we had a national housing strategy, which was an attempt to ameliorate the problem by, not just throwing money at the problem, but by devising a coordinated response to a pressing issue. But that was scrapped in the '90s and responsibility for housing was downloaded to the provinces.
In B.C., our "free enterprise" Liberals have provided some subsidies, but have put precious little towards building more affordable housing.
At the civic level, politicians have required developers to make at least five per cent of their development affordable if it exceeds 80 units. Obviously that's not enough.
But enough complaining. The time is for clear action. It is encouraging to see that the Kiwanis towers project is happening, as is the Remy project.
These may be just drops in the bucket considering the high demand, but they are clear illustrations that integrated, affordable housing is doable. We also have success stories in the form of housing co-ops. To think those subsidies are being threatened is mind boggling. That's one program that's already working. Let's not break it.
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