OUR VIEW: Support housing for young people

We need young, working families on the Saanich Peninsula to ensure the future of the community

Not long ago, the Peninsula News Review received a letter responding to proposals for density in the community. The writer stated an influx of families with children would bring debris such as bicycles and noise to the neighbourhood – certainly an inconvenience that would not be appreciated.

The Saanich Peninsula is known as a haven for the retired. Its wide sidewalks, open streets and impeccable climate make it so. And so it should remain – in part.

Catering just to the wealthy and retired is unsustainable and rather sad. Today’s real estate market is on shaky ground. The American dollar isn’t as strong as it once was. Sidney’s population dropped between 2007 and 2011; schools are closing as enrolment shrinks. And with an average age around 53 in Sidney and North Saanich, we’d better pray there are people willing to move here to buy property and shop at our businesses in future years.

A community is nothing without diversity. Imagine Sidney Days without children.

The Peninsula News Review fully supports the current and growing push for workforce housing. Not only do the biggest employers in our area need it to survive and inject tax dollars into the economy, but we believe young people are imperative to the future of any community.

Those employers must step up with programs to ensure their workers are first in line for lower cost housing that comes available.

NIMBYism will be the biggest challenge proponents of workforce housing will face, but residents must remember that rural, quaint places to live can remain so – not a “little Langford” as a letter on the next page frivolously suggests. Lands End, Dean Park and Ardmore won’t be riddled with apartments, but land near the airport, for example, is well suited to lower cost housing.

Residents should be aware that more high density developments are in store for their municipalities in the future. We should embrace change when it’s done right – after all, you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the changes that came before your time.