Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brilliant Comment Deserves Own Post


I am very lucky to live in co-op housing. We pay less than $1200 per month for a three bedroom townhome (near schools, parks and amenities) plus utilities. The city property tax is included in our housing charge.

This co-op was partially financed through funding from the CHMC around 30 years ago (in the early 1980'). It has provided safe, affordable housing and a community of mixed incomes (from subsidized members paying 30% of their gross income to working and lower professional classes paying the regular rate - which is still much lower than true market rates).

The members of our co-op are a stable bunch. We know each other and participate in our own community and the community at large.

This is in stark contrast to most townhomes/condos where there are so many units sitting empty (pied de terres for out-of-towners and speculative buys for property investors).

There are members who have young children who were young children living here with their own parents when the co-op was first opened. How is that for a stable neighbourhood!!

As we are paying hundreds of dollars less per month than we would on either market rents or the high costs of regular home ownership - we have more money to spend to stimulate the economy or invest for our retirements or children's higher education.

Keep in mind - this is not "social housing" in the sense that it is only for low income. This co-op is made of a mix of people - the way a healthy neighbourhood SHOULD be. Most members pay full price for their units and others have degrees of subsidy - depending on their individual circumstances. We manage our own property and stay within budget each year.

There needs to be more of this type of housing in Vancouver so that singles, families and seniors can live, work and participate in the city. With more affordable housing options. It is horrifying to hear of working people having to avail themselves of shelters and other emergency housing because of the dismal lack of options.

2 comments:

ama said...

Thank you for speaking out about the community that is fundamental to coop living. I raised my children in a wonderful coop community, not without some trials but with a tremendous amount of support...financial of course but also spiritual and emotional. We need more of this kind of housing so children can grow in dignity and parents raise them with pride. I did indeed see multi-generational examples...grandparents, parents and their children in different units weaving the fabric of these fine communities...We all have a right to affordable housing...how has it gone so wrong.
ama aka cwc

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