LETTER: Sale of housing assets short-sighted

Affordable homes is needed now and for future generations; tent camps are only one result stemming from the lack of housing.

Abbotsford shares the challenge of many B.C. municipalities when it comes to the lack of affordable housing, and tent camps are only one result.

Many individuals — including the coveted millennials — are having to contend with limited options when it comes to housing, and neither of the senior governments appear to be on the ball.  It’s bad enough that the federal government is cutting support of co-op housing — what our province is doing is equally as damaging.

Carlito Pablo’s article “Province sells buildings” (Georgia Straight, Aug. 20-27) provides some disturbing details. Minister Rich Coleman has directed B.C. Housing to sell 350 government-owned properties.

As a fiscal conservative, I find the sale of housing assets to be short-sighted, even if these sales may mimic economic activity and even allow the provincial books to look a tad less bleak. But liquidating assets is not the worst of it.

Mr. Pablo lists the assessed value of Stamps Place at $50.5 million, and that of Nicholson Tower at $34 million. Mortgages will be required of purchasers, and rents will, understandably, reflect these mortgage payments.

Sure, B.C. Housing can offer further subsidies to — at least partially — offset the increases. But those subsidies will essentially flow through to the mortgage lenders.

I’ve got nothing against banks. But I’d much prefer my tax dollars go to housing than to the “Big Five”. Too bad our provincial government doesn’t appear to agree.

Regina Dalton

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