As our cities and region continues to grow and develop, it is essential that we develop a vision that includes all citizens, especially those from vulnerable populations. There is value in shifting the idea of housing from a commodity to a right. Offering diverse housing options throughout the region at a range of prices, while increasing overall housing supply, can mitigate rising housing costs (which are currently making housing unaffordable to more and more people). Although housing options are needed across the housing spectrum, there is an urgent need for deeply affordable options at the lower end of that continuum.
Our current pandemic has shone a light on the untenable housing situation in our region. Although many in our region were already in precarious housing situations, now with thousands out of work, we can expect those numbers to grow. The pandemic has also shown that, when needed, we can rally together and make important investments in housing (and other) social supports. Although this is not a new issue, it is one that is now impacting a larger proportion of our citizens. If there was ever a time to ensure that we provide deeply affordable housing so all of our community can benefit, it is now.