Missing Middle Vs Affordable Rentals
One of the biggest and one of the more contentious issues in the dying months of this Mayor and Councils mandate is the Missing Middle Housing Initiative. To be up front, I am not opposed to looking more closely at the proposal as a Councilor if elected on October 15.
What I do know is it will not create any new housing that could be considered affordable, and by affordable I mean rental properties that people in base level jobs can comfortably sustain themselves. Like many, as a young person I had that entry level job at minimum wage, and yes it meant that a room mate was needed to be able to move from my parents home. It's what we did. Today while still possible, those affordable apartments are almost impossible to find.
We as a city have a number of tools that can be used to incentivize new rental development including tax incentives, land leases, rental zoning, among others. There are Federal and Provincial programs that can be accessed including interest rate buydowns and grants. Other ways to more affordable rental would be basic appliance packages, and no, not everyone wants granite countertops. Very much like me, yes I am a renter on the edge of Fernwood, most would be happy with a bathroom that has a tub a toilet and a sink.
Please, in the weeks leading up to the election on October 15, think of the person serving your morning Americano. Can they afford to be here to serve you?