Any conversation about affordable housing needs to include a hard look at also providing affordable food.
Currently, North Americans spend between 10 and 15 per cent of their income on food.
In some European countries, that number is closer to 40 per cent — or more.
There are many factors contributing to rising food costs, including but not limited to: increasing demand on global food production due to rising population; rising fuel and agricultural input prices; diminishing freshwater resources and increased pressure to take farm land out of production in order to build homes.
People will always spend money on food first, and housing after.
It stands to reason that as food prices rise, and more of our household income is spent on food, the dream of home ownership will become less and less affordable to more and more people.
As fuel costs rise, the closer our food is produced to our homes, the cheaper it can be.
If any municipal council is serious about affordable housing, they will also address the need for us to produce as much food locally as possible, especially as more and more people move to this area.
Promoting and supporting local agriculture, protecting farmland, and finding ways to attract more farmers to this area are as important to providing truly affordable housing as building the houses themselves.