Re: Langford puts affordable housing on the market (Gazette, May 16)
While I must give Langford council credit for having an affordable housing program that clearly works, I feel there is room for improvement.
I have a different approach municipalities across B.C. could take to affordable housing. Arrange long-term funding from the Municipal Finance Authority to build housing units. Place tenders in newspapers for builders, but rather than just go with the lowest bidder, award contracts to construction companies that have demonstrated an ability to complete projects on time and on budget, mitigating the risk of costly delays and budget overruns.
A separate tender could also be put out for property management companies to arrange rent-to-own plans, with criteria set out by the local government, but approved by the company.
The portion of rent normally retained by the property manager could go back to the city to repay the MFA.
So the city funds the housing with self-supported debt, but that does not mean they have to assemble the crew to build, manage or sell them. With a consortium of public funding and private expertise, it would also be less open to political favouritism, real or perceived.