The need for affordable housing has been with us for decades. It is a continuing governmental concern since the first Canadian social housing legislation – the 1938 National Housing Act made provision for the construction of low-rent housing. When I graduated from the School of Architecture at UBC in 1976, it was back then a topic of discussion and research.
Architects, developers, builders wrestle with the increasing complexity of the building process. Government and community controls, technological advances in construction and techniques. The ever-swelling body of various building codes, design requirements, legal construction documentation, supervision and administration costs, labour costs provide anything by unaffordable.
Our family has been in the landlord-tenant business providing decent affordable detached housing in the Coldstream area since the 1960s.
Believe me, it is a very challenging, exhausting, frustrating business to be in – not recommended for the faint at heart.
Dealing with the tasks at hand, one needs a thorough understanding of the craft of business management, economics, caretaking along with the wisdom of human behaviour in the sciences of psychiatry, sociology, psychology and social work.
The provision of housing for lower-income families and unattached individuals will be a growing concern in the community for years to come.
Ed RR Witzke