Letter to the Editor – Affordable Housing


Dear Editor,

All levels of government (including our municipality) have latched onto, and bandy about, the phrase “affordable housing” as one solution to the “housing crisis” in this country. I would just like to ask: what is the definition of ‘affordable’? Affordable used to be 30% of one’s gross income (which none of us receives anyway!), but that definition has long since passed.   

Trying to purchase a house for a first-time buyer is not ‘affordable’. Federal  government programmes only support the purchase of new homes: not pandering to the developers are we?  

Trying to raise a mortgage? Recently, a ‘B level lender’ offered us a mortgage for 7%, which was OK, but the lender’s fee was 1.5% of the purchase price. So, on a $350,000 purchase, that’s $5,250, then the legal fees, and then a few other fees, like hydro & water hook-up… well, that’s a goodly amount of my son’s hard earned savings gone, before he’s even moved in. (Land transfer fees are waived for first-time buyers, but vary from 0.5 – 2% of the purchase price.)

So, Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Poilievre, Mr. Singh and Mr. Ford, please let me know what is meant by “affordable”? I have not heard much discussion on the criteria for this, so glibly stating “affordable housing” is a bit hollow. Also, be very careful: all of the parties risk alienating a large chunk of society who don’t feel they will ever get anywhere using the current political system, and that is a recipe for unrest.

Andrew M. Thriscutt


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