Housing issues remain a local and ‘micro’ issues, says one Vernon Morning Star reader. No provincial or national mandate will work across the board for every situation. (File photo)

Housing issues remain a local and ‘micro’ issues, says one Vernon Morning Star reader. No provincial or national mandate will work across the board for every situation. (File photo)

LETTER: No ‘one size fits all’ for housing issues

There is a lot being said recently about supportive housing requirements in the region, and the issue is critical.

I prefer the term “inclusive housing” but when it comes to affordability, sustainability, universal design and environmental issues, there remain too many obstacles that could easily be removed.

As one involved for 35-plus years in the new home industry and my involvement in local, provincial and national housing studies, there is a premise that must be understood – that housing issues are local and micro.

There will never be a national or provincial mandate where one size fits all.

Unless and until we look at housing as a municipal issue and deal with it on that level, there will be no progress.

For example, “affordable” means controlling costs both for the producer and end-user.

“Inclusive” means building to standards respecting mobility and accessibility.

Time and space here do not allow for detail, but there needs to be discussion and commitment on all levels of the chain.

No one knows better than I do the cumbersome layers of approval dancing that does nothing but add time and costs to bring the product to market.

But I present solutions as well as criticism. Let’s start with use of public lands for inclusive housing, changes to density requirements, changes to parking requirements, DCC credits for inclusive development, stop NIMBYism, adopt transitional housing and mixed-use provisions.

When local governments and the building industry share the social commitment and responsibility for a basic life requirement, there are immediate positive impacts.

But is there a commitment?

Paul S. Betts

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