OUR VIEW: Tough questions on housing

Pointed questions asked by housing consultant at recent Mayor’s Breakfast should also be asked by municipal politicians on the Peninsula

Pointed questions asked by Whistler housing consultant Tim Wake at the recent Mayor’s Breakfast should also be asked by municipal politicians on the Saanich Peninsula.

They might not like the answers and it might put paid to the notion that this area will ever be home to social housing or even the workforce housing for which local businesses have been lobbying. Wake, speaking to the various plans created in Sidney and North Saanich — more specifically in the latter community — wondered aloud whether all of that talking would ever result in a change in housing for the working people on the Peninsula.

Not likely, he answered, noting that North Saanich has at least two plans completed since 2008 that essentially say the same thing — there is little to no housing here in the price range of the average working family. And that means their paycheques end up where they actually live — elsewhere in Greater Victoria.

It’s also not likely to occur any time soon, he added. Current development projects in Sidney and North Saanich are market housing and their prices still outpace what would be affordable to people with average incomes.

Yet before anyone calls for social housing as the only options left, consider Wake’s other questions — “Where do you want those people to live and spend those dollars? Wouldn’t you want them to live here?”

Answers to these questions aren’t that easy to come by and at times local politicians have stated that one of their neighbouring communities might be the place for such housing.

Wake’s presentation has, in essence, pressed the restart button on housing on the Saanich Peninsula. His questions should give local politicians pause and force them to come clean on just what they want in their communities. For some, it’s market housing. For others, ‘affordable’ means ‘social’ housing. But unless they are willing to do more than pay into a Capital Regional District fund for social housing that will probably continue to build somewhere else, what we have left is simple posturing.

If housing really is a priority, we need to come up with some honest answers to these questions.

 

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read