Jeremy Maddock on an old ‘Dean Team’ idea of affordable housing in Victoria: ‘politicians only support affordable housing that’s publicly funded and managed.’ Letter published in Times Colonist, October 27, 2011.

City wants a monopoly on affordable housing

BY JEREMY MADDOCK, TIMES COLONIST OCTOBER 27, 2011

Re: “‘It’s not going to cost the city a penny,’ ” Times Colonist, Oct. 22.

I was quite disgusted to read that the City of Victoria is continuing to block a private developer’s efforts to offer affordable housing units in an unused downtown hotel.

Wherever you come from ideologically, it’s difficult to deny that Victoria is in desperate need of more affordable housing.

It’s one of the main talking points in every local election.

But it seems that once they are elected, local politicians only support affordable housing that’s publicly funded and managed.

When a private entrepreneur comes along with a viable business model to turn an empty hotel into cheap housing for struggling Victorians, City Hall opposes it.

Could it be that politicians only believe in helping people when they have a monopoly on doing it?

I was also a little shocked by at least one councillor’s rationale for opposing the private affordable housing plan:

“Coun. Lynn Hunter is worried that the nature of the development could make it a magnet for single men, which could lead to added social costs such as police calls the city will have to pick up in the future.”

Can you imagine if this councillor had said the same thing about blacks, natives, or basically any minority group other than “single men?”

Jeremy Maddock

Victoria

Read more:http://www.timescolonist.com/business/City+wants+monopoly+affordable+housing/5614717/story.html#ixzz1elHb4zPb