Editorial: CVRD affordable housing tax vital to future

A few dollars a year is a small price to pay.

This is one new tax that we support 100 per cent.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has proposed to start collecting another $4.58 per $100,000 assessed property value to go into a fund to go towards building affordable housing.

Such a plan is desperately needed in the Cowichan Valley. From Mill Bay to Duncan and Chemainus, Lake Cowichan and Youbou to Ladysmith there is an affordable housing crisis. Home prices have shot up for prospective buyers, meaning it’s harder to purchase for many. At the same time rents have skyrocketed and there is limited rental stock to choose from. People are spending thousands of dollars every month (one letter writer cited $2,200) just to put a roof over their heads.

This is nuts.

It’s tough for many property owners who see their taxes rise every year. But this is a public, communal crisis that is only getting worse. Some argue that it’s not up to local governments to deal with housing woes, and they should leave it to the senior levels of government, provincial and federal, to do something about it. We certainly see some merit in this argument, however, in practice it just doesn’t cut it. Because the provincial and federal governments have failed to act in a way that has even remotely addressed this issue in any kind of satisfactory manner — evidenced by the fact that things have only deteriorated over the last five to 10 years, not gotten better, the local government needs to step in and provide relief.

How long are we supposed to wait for senior governments to get their act together? And in the meantime, what does that mean for the increasing number of people who are having to choose between rent and their prescriptions, or rent and food? Do we just tell them, so sorry, too bad, we’ve chosen not to help you because it really should be those guys that do?

No, we need to take action at every level we possibly can. We need to get shovels in the ground and framing going up, not endless meetings and press conferences promising dollars that don’t seem to translate into actual units. The CVRD proposes that the fund created by the tax be used to leverage provincial and federal dollars, so it’s not like we’re totally giving up, we’re just kick-starting it.

Those in need are our friends, relatives and neighbours. A few dollars a year is a small price to pay.

Just Posted

Siebring jumps off the fence to ‘yes’ side of amalgamation

“Common sense tells me that it’s time to undo a mistake that was made in 1912”

CVAC Jaguars beat the heat at Victoria’s Dogwood meet

Jaguars combine for 80 podium finishes

Bulldogs lead Island to Zone Bowl success

Eight Cowichan players on Island team, including MVP, defensive MVP and Most Sportsmanlike Player

North Cowichan OKs grant for agricultural lending library

Grant of $15,000 goes to Cowichan Green Community

Editorial: We must grow our ability to feed ourselves

The equipment needed for farming can be specialized and expensive.

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Vancouver Canucks continue rebuild, sign Swedish teenager Pettersson

Team has number of young guns under contract in Brock Boeser, Adam Gaudette, Bo Horvat, and goaltender Thatcher Demko

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Canucks sign top prospect Elias Pettersson to entry-level deal

Slick centre drafted No. 5 overall in 2017 NHL draft

Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps to 1,600 hectares overnight

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 1,600 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Former B.C. police chief dies in ATV accident

Ex-Nelson top cop began his career in Vancouver

Most Read