Is there really a housing crisis in Cowichan?
What is the criteria for determining a housing crisis?
I hear the term tossed around frequently in the Valley. I even read in a B.C. wide publication that there were four districts experiencing a “housing crisis” and Duncan was one of them!
It seems to me that most people in the Cowichan Valley have buildings in which to live. If we are thinking about those who don’t have a building to live in, or are living in inadequate structures, that doesn’t necessarily equate with a housing crisis. In the case of the former, I see it more as an indicator of mental, physical, and/or emotional distress and in the latter, poverty.
Another possible way to determine whether we are in a housing crisis might be to look at family groupings. When I look at all the friends of my three kids, now in their 30 to 40s, I don’t see any of them that had to leave the Valley because they couldn’t find a house to live in. Some left because they had other designs for their lives; and even some of them returned, and were able to find homes.
So who is it that needs a home? It’s not like an Amazon hub that requires 5,000 employees is locating on the island. Is it just people who want to live here? If I wanted to live in a quiet little beachside village somewhere, would I expect the community to design itself around providing my habitation?
Or might it rather be that people making their living from building, or people who think that bigger is better, or people who are under the false notion that a larger tax base would solve all our problems, are the ones driving the notion of a “housing crisis”.
As I have expressed earlier, my worst fear is that the unbounded growth of the south island make it’s way unimpeded to the Cowichan Valley. So you can imagine my consternation when Mayor Siebring returned from Langford inspired by their growth strategy.
Can we please take the time and practise whatever is learned from the public engagement survey, to come together to decide what we want our collective future to look like in terms of population density in the light of maintaining community connection and economic and environmental sustainability?
Thoughtful, community, self determination, rather than unreasoned assumptions and external pressures.