EDITORIAL: Housing requires team effort

The latest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report wasn’t a surprise for many residents.

There appears to be more rental housing available in Vernon than there has been in years, but the challenge is the cost.

CMHC states that the average rent for a two bedroom apartment is $783 a month and that’s going to be a challenge even for someone who is working, particularly in any sectors dominated by minimum wage. Once the rent is paid, that leaves very little for food or other necessities of life.

In some cases, residents are forced into less than ideal housing simply because that’s what they can afford.

However, while an abundance of supply should force rents down, reality is far more complex than that.

Just the fact that people are willing to pay $783 a month shows that’s what the market is able to bare. Also, many landlords have mortgages and if they purchased during the real estate boom, they require revenue to service that debt. Maintenance also needs some dollars coming in.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as developers work  with non-profit societies and all levels of government to provide a range of housing types.

Those options can range from smaller units to some families being provided with the downpayment to purchase a home if they can meet certain requirements.

Attainable housing is a serious issue and it has major economic implications as it forces people to leave the area, reducing the available workforce.

But through a co-operative effort that involves all stakeholders, hopefully real progress can be made.


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