Affordable housing strikes at heart of problems

How can it be good news when the costs of a basic human need (shelter) increases by five per cent annually?

How can it be good news when the costs of a basic human need (shelter) increases by five per cent annually?

Let’s do a little math. Let’s assume the average home today is valued at $300,000 and the average household income is $90,000. If real estate prices rise five per cent each year for the next 25 years (that’s what we want, right?), when your kids are ready to buy, the average home will cost about $1 million; and if wages increase by two per cent per year for 25 years, household income will be about $148,000. Your grandchildren will be much worse off: after 50 years of five per cent annual increases, an average home will cost about $3.4 million; after 50 years of two per cent annual wage increases, average household income will be about $242,000.

Okay, the example is extreme, but it does illustrate the problem: at some point the price of housing will rise above people’s ability to fill the basic human need of shelter. Housing will be just another investment opportunity for those with the cash.

What can we do? I suggest the following: one, restrict sales of local properties to local buyers — this will curb speculation and ridiculous price increases; and two, the municipality set aside properties for a local NPO to develop into affordable housing — some units can be rented according to ability to pay.

Suppose that every household could divert just $1,000 per year from the cost of shelter to “disposable income”; with 10,000 families in the area, $10 million would be injected into the local economy each year for food security and spending in local shops. Think of the new businesses and the jobs they would create.

We can solve three major problems: homelessness, high unemployment, and rising food prices.

If this interests you, contact me: ivan@basicneedsfirst.ca

 

Ivan Quinlan

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Column: Keeping animals off roads is no simple task

Where I originally come from, it’s moose, which can weigh twice as much as an elk

Column David Suzuki: More action needed to ensure safe water for First Nations

All nine water systems on Lytton First Nation land have been under boil water advisories

Column: Hot under pressure: my newest love

A Valentine’s Day tribute to love and cooking

CWFL planning girls divisions

Players and coaches sought for 12-13 and 14-15 age groups

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Coming up in Cowichan: Irrigation; Palestinian children; fun with fungi

The Cowichan Watershed Board is presenting a free efficient irrigation workshop

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Canada wins gold in bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz tied for first in two-man event at 2018 Winter Olympics

Sharpe run puts Vancouver Island Olympian in first

Comox halfpipe skier Cassie Sharpe dazzles in qualifying, finals late this afternoon our time

Most Read