Letter to the Editor – Affordable Housing

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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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