The ongoing struggle for affordable housing continues. Businesses are struggling to find workers because of high rental costs. Government continues to acknowledge the problem but we are a long way from solving it.
In 1991, the Mulroney government discontinued the co-op housing program. It provided both affordable housing and market housing. The mix of communities was a success. We had people from all walks of life and incomes managing the complexes. The people learned many skills and respect for each other while they volunteered to be board members or doing gardening. We had very few homeless people in Vancouver or elsewhere at that time.
If the governments are going to solve the problem, not only do we need units but to take control of the land we are building them on. In the ‘90s I was a founding member and CEO of the Community Housing Land Trust Foundation. We are not making more land so let’s preserve the land we are building on for affordable housing for now and in the future.
We have very successful land trusts for birds and wildlife, so why not people? If we ensure that the land we are building on is put in a land trust to be only used for affordable housing in perpetuity, then we are securing the future of affordable housing for future generations.
Mary Flynn, Garden Bay