I read in the PQB News again (Parksville apartment fire victims settle, Nov. 7) about the need for affordable housing.
A number of people, through no fault of their own, lost their homes due to a fire, and at least one of those, we now hear, is “truly homeless” while a few have been able to secure only temporary housing. The article also states that “those residents have taken up spaces in an already tight real estate market.”
We also hear more about how desperate the housing situation seems, but even though any affordable housing “can move forward only as approvals and resources are made available,” nothing is in place and nothing will likely happen “until as early as next fall  because it takes time to put things in place…”
In the meantime, as we head into winter, there are homeless people who must continue to wait until the community gets their act together and stops saying they are trying, but actually do something. How many years have they been trying, rather than doing?
The term “affordability” has different meanings for different people. For the majority, $700-plus rents are generally within the budget even if things are a bit tight. I would, however, like to point out that there are few places available for even $700. And for many of those on low income, a $700 (or $600, or even $500) rent is not only totally unaffordable, but well beyond their imagination. Even if utilities were included, they would still have to make a choice between food and shelter — in essence leaving no choice at all.
I am incredibly blessed and grateful to be living where I am (subsidized housing). If I weren’t, I’d also be homeless. There is a desperate need for affordable housing and we need to stop making excuses — stop trying and start doing!