Disappointed and stunned
Just after writing my letter to our elected officials, I was stunned to read about the price increase for employee housing units being unanimously approved up to $192.50 per square foot, at the last council meeting. This isn’t for newly approved projects but is being applied retroactively for the 550-plus units that have been owed for years.
Please people, when is a deal a deal? These developers were given substantial benefits in exchange for providing the housing units. You have just handed them millions of dollars more on the backs of our under-housed employees!
Ken, what were you thinking; anything is better than being perceived as having delivered nothing? Is this the kind of logic we can now expect of you if you are elected mayor?
Mr. Davies, how callous of you to think that the employees will now be able to qualify for much bigger mortgages or will have to settle for smaller units. I sincerely doubt that many young workers’ wages have increased 24 per cent in the last few years to keep pace with this latest increase. How many will fall through the cracks and be forced to leave our town? Will the general population ever be able to trust that you are acting on our behalf and delivering what is owed?
Everyone, please express your concerns with your vote on Nov. 19 th .
I was disappointed but not surprised to read the WHA has raised the benchmark price of affordable housing at the request of Nita Lake Developer John Haibeck (Pique Nov.10). This is yet another example of the RMOW playing into the hands of developers at the expense of the ordinary citizen. Even Ken Melamed's reservations about keeping the original deal succumbed to the pressure.
I have no sympathy for Haibeck’s complaint regarding demands the Muni places on developers with his comment that he's "never seen anything like it" in 14 cities he's built in. I'd be curious as to what the price of real estate and the cost of living were in comparison but I'm sure we'd be comparing apples and oranges. I don't know what he's complaining about, his legal team managed to convince the Muni to go ahead with a permit even after the courts shut it down. This new benchmark is another win-win for him and a lose-lose for Joe Homebuyer. Basically, by stalling, the developer gained $37,000 plus interest for every 1,000 sq. ft home while no new housing has been built. Adjusting this figure annually based on the increase in the consumer price index does not sit well with me either. It should be based on the average increase in wages, which for me is about 2 per cent/year.