EDITORIAL: Providing affordable housing

Now it’s time to do something about an ongoing problem in Summerland

For years, Summerlanders have known about the lack of affordable housing in the community. Many understand the implication.

Now it’s time to do something about this ongoing problem.

The Parkdale Place Housing Society’s board of directors are looking into creating an affordable housing complex.

One site under consideration for this is on Wharton Street, a location which has in the past been considered for multi-family housing developments.

In recent years, the site of the former Summerland RCMP detachment has also been considered for housing.

And yet, while the concept of affordable housing has been considered, it is extremely difficult for those on modest incomes to find places to live.

This lack of affordable housing has some far-reaching implications.

Some local businesses already have a difficult time finding workers who are willing to come to a community where housing costs present an obstacle. And the problem will continue until something is done to provide housing units at prices workers can afford.

In some cases, employees are commuting from other centres to work in Summerland, since they are not able to afford to live here. While this provides a temporary solution, it is not a good strategy for the businesses or for the community.

Those who work here but live elsewhere are less likely to stay for the long term. They will not spend time or money in the community. Their children will not go to Summerland schools. And they do not have the same connection to the community as those who live here.

The challenge now is not in deciding if affordable housing is needed, but rather in determining how best to meet this need.

This is a problem facing us right now, and it deserves immediate attention.

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