Need to rethink notion of ‘affordable’ housing

There was a time when anyone with a steady job could afford to own a home.

The houses were smaller with few frills or extras, but they were “affordable”. Over the years we have “improved” the houses by adding more bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, granite countertops and a completely finished room for the cars. Really? Small wonder there is an affordability crises.

Wringing our hands and repeating the mantra of “affordable housing” will solve nothing, and half measures won’t do either. We need a compete rethink of subdivisions and the houses we build in them.

Local governments must lead the way by creating a new classification of subdivision with a strict limit on the size of the houses, smaller lots, and importantly, a narrower road allowance and less setback from the road to the house. The current minimum is more than 100 feet house to house even on a side street or cul de sac.

Keep in mind the home buyer pays for this extra land, and the improvements on it. There are many parcels of land that could be designated affordable housing only.

Bill Trace

Qualicum Beach

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