Editorial: New Habitat housing good news for Cowichan Valley affordable housing problem

House prices have skyrocketed in the last five years

The Cowichan Valley, along with much of the rest of Vancouver Island, and indeed, all of Canada, has an affordable housing problem.

There’s not enough of it.

House prices have skyrocketed in the last five years, some of it driven by people escaping even more unaffordable markets like Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto, some of it driven by how awesome the Cowichan Valley is.

Work wages have in no way kept up with this steep escalation in housing prices, leaving people unable to get mortgages. At the same time, rental costs have also risen dramatically, and there’s a distinct shortage of available inventory, and an even more distinct shortage of good quality rentals.

That’s why it was really great news to be able to report in Wednesday’s edition of the Citizen that Habitat for Humanity is now taking applications for one half of a duplex and a sixplex in the Cowichan Valley. These are seven new homes available for people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford home ownership.

Having a stable home can make all the difference for people, whether they are families with young children and pets, adults or seniors. Having a roof over your head that you can call your own is a dream that many share, and one that has steadily risen out of reach of far too many hardworking folks.

Habitat for Humanity is a great program, allowing families to avoid a downpayment and owe only an interest-free mortgage. Most will find this is significantly cheaper than renting, especially if people have been unable to find a stable arrangement and have had the added financial burden of having to move multiple times from one rental to another. Successful applicants must also put their own sweat equity into the home, which further cements a feeling of ownership and value.

It give people dignity and hope, along with a place to live. We can only hope that this is just the start of more such projects in the Cowichan Valley.

Just Posted

North Cowichan taxpayers could face a one-time 133% increase in ‘worst case’ VIMC lawsuit

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

LAKE FLASHBACK: Remember swine flu? Bosnian conflict? Moving St. Christopher’s? It’s been a while

From worldwide stories to those close to home, we’ve a real cross-section this week

Mary Lowther column: Making your own supplements from garden plants

Health food stores offer powdered green supplements to augment deficiencies of commercial vegetables

Lake Cowichan fire department back with annual toy and food drive on Dec. 13-14

As Lake area gets ready to fill Christmas hampers, firefighters call for donations of toys and food

Chargers in every match at provincial tourney

DCS finishes 12th after competitive tournament

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read