An affordable apartment building for low-income families and seniors is being proposed by B.C. Housing for 21375 Lougheed Highway. (THE NEWS/files)

Connected: Affordable housing is investing in community

Resources and options available now in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows.

Supporting access to safe and affordable housing is a priority for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows-Katzie Community Network.

Our members are actively working to create additional affordable housing units and to connect people with available homes.

So what is affordable housing?

In Canada, housing is considered affordable if shelter costs account for less than 30 per cent of before-tax household income. Someone working full-time at $15 an hour earns $2,400 a month before tax. Shelter costs of $720 a month would be considered affordable in this situation.

There are many different types of housing – privately owned houses, condos and townhouses, rental apartments and houses, co-op housing developments and supportive housing facilities.

It’s the percentage of income that goes towards housing that determines if the standard of affordability is being met.

At current prices, many of the homes available to own or to rent in our community are unaffordable by this measure.

Young adults still attending school and working entry-level jobs, seniors on a fixed income or families headed by a single income earner might all struggle to find affordable housing.

Building homes creates jobs. The creation of new affordable homes reduces the demand for market housing and increases the vacancy rate so more homes are available. More affordable homes means fewer people becoming homeless.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with a Community Services client willing to share his affordable housing story. He is a long-time Maple Ridge resident who owned a home in the community for many years. He went through a divorce and experienced some medical issues. The company he worked for was supportive, but, ultimately, he had to leave his job.

Unable to work, his options for housing changed. He spent the next 10 years living in a rented room. The environment he was living in was sometimes chaotic and he would retreat to his room and listen to music through headphones to try and find some peace.

His friend put him in touch with the Seniors Connect program coordinator, who searched listings and went with him on viewing appointments. The Seniors Connect coordinator supported him through the application process for an apartment and arranged for a subsidy through Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters subsidy offered by B..C Housing to assist seniors renting in the private market.

In just a few days, he was moving into his new place and starting a new phase in his life.

All levels of government have acknowledged the lack of affordable housing in our area and plans to provide more housing are in the works. Connect with the Community Network via email at info@resourceyourcommunity.com or by calling 778-242-3359.

The network meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 1–3 p.m. in the Fraser Room at the Maple Ridge library.

– Sunny Schiller is coordinator of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows-Katzie Community Network.

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows remembers

Ceremony held in Spirit Square Monday morning

Army vet, editorial cartoon pioneer takes salute

Army vet, editorial cartoon pioneer takes salute

ON COOKING: Banana bread with a bit of pizzazz

Ever thought of adding cranberries and pistachio nuts to your traditional loaf?

VIDEO: Maple Ridge cyclist struck by pickup, rushed to hospital

Mounties had another neighbourhood the western portion of town behind police tape again Saturday

Flames shut out Whalers Friday night

Rookie netminder gets first junior shutout

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read