Corp Comm Connects

Affordable housing is needed now, reader writes
June 28, 2022
opinion -- Ron Brownsberger

I read with interest the article “Finding a Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing.”

I've been concerned about affordable housing for quite a while.

Early in my teaching life, when I was getting $10,000 a year, I was able to buy a home for $30,900 (salary times three).

Today, to buy an average home, a teacher would need to be getting over $300,000 a year. Not happening!

I'm on the affordable housing community committee for the project in Stouffville. Wow! Thirty or so units. A drop in the bucket. We need over 2,000 new small units in Stouffville alone.

I feel that there are a number of solutions to getting more affordable housing started.

Municipalities must try to get many of the following going in their communities.

1. All new apartment buildings must have a good number of bachelor units. Something that a Walmart employee can afford to rent.

2. Municipalities must find places for mobile home communities. Good examples are two locations north and west of Lindsay on Highway 35 and another two east of Port Hope on the north side of the 401. Single-unit mobile homes, like 12 by 40 feet. Units are $120,000 and up, cheaper if they are used. Land rent and utilities, $500 to $900 a month.

3. Municipalities need to look into tiny homes. There are a number of Canadian cities where tiny homes communities are being developed. Size: 200 to 400 sq.ft.

4. Municipalities need to get much smaller free-standing homes built. Present "standard" new homes are over 2000 sq.ft. Our first home in East York was 605 sq.ft. Big enough for three adults and one infant. Our second home was 1200 sq.ft. Plenty of space.

5. Municipalities must be able to approve small apartment units above double garages.

6. Municipalities must be able to approve "basement apartments" with correct fire alarms, fire extinguishers and, better yet, units with a basement entrance from the outdoors.

7. Some cities are now approving an additional small home on existing properties with the space in the side or backyard.

There are probably other solutions that can get started quickly.

It was stated by Stats Canada recently that 1.5 million affordable homes are needed now in Canada. “Now” means in 2022.