Opinion

OUR VIEW: Defining our affordability

Affordable housing – or in some cases, attainable housing – is the new catch phrase for developers and politicians on the Peninsula these days.

They have good reason. Living here is simply unaffordable for plenty of families, including those who work locally.

According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, the median price for a single family house in North Saanich was  $642,000 in July, $532,500 in Central Saanich and $478,250 in Sidney. For townhouses, the median price was $395,000 in Central Saanich and $295,000 in Sidney. (No townhouses sold in North Saanich last month.)

Those townhouse prices are often cited as affordable or attainable for working singles or families and it’s true in some cases. But there’s another key ingredient here.

The key to afforadability – or attainability, whichever you prefer – is diversity, because single family houses will almost never be affordable. Our land costs are just too high.

Most Peninsula residents are in favour of affordable housing for working families – and for seniors too, who perhaps can’t shell out the better part of a million dollars for a home. The problem is, a large number of folks aren’t in favour of density.

You can’t have one without the other. Without massive subsidies, single family houses won’t become affordable for families and individuals who are just starting out.

That’s the starting point for affordable housing. The next step is ensuring any lower-cost, higher-density builds go to the right people in the right locations. It’s a point North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall has often raised with very good reason. But we can’t get there without taking that first step.

Density plus diversity equals affordability.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Wolf kill last hope for BC caribou herds
 
Hippie science is easy, and wrong
 
ICBC frauds include fires, faked thefts
Old Red Balloon building demolition underway
 
Contemplating a new Logger Mike
 
Governor General says Canadians well positioned to take advantage of opportunities
SS Beaver was a coastal icon
 
Abbeyfield wraps up year with a party
 
Editorial cartoon for Jan. 27

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.