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IN OUR VIEW: Feds need to come to table on housing

We won’t solve the housing crisis until Ottawa starts building on a major scale
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tours a rental housing development in Vancouver, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

There’s just not enough housing.

That’s the key thing everyone agrees on when it comes to the ongoing housing crisis affecting Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, the Lower Mainland, B.C., and most of Canada.

Building more housing is the responsibility of private builders, civic councils and mayors, as well as the provincial government, through Minister for Housing Ravi Kahlon.

All those groups have offered varied solutions, and their ideas are undoubtedly part of the complex fix needed.

But it’s Ottawa that needs to shoulder a large fraction of both the blame, and the responsibility for solving the problem.

Until the 1990s, Ottawa had a proper housing strategy, and actually oversaw and funded the construction of affordable housing, including co-ops.

Then, amid a frenzy of cost-cutting, all those housing efforts were axed.

It’s been pointed out many times, almost as many times as Ottawa has promised to get back into housing and start working on the file again.

So far, the actual effort and impact of Ottawa’s return to building affordable housing has been minimal.

The upcoming housing summit in Maple Ridge is a good opportunity to remind PM Justin Trudeau, as well as opposition leaders, that they need to get their hands dirty and put in the hard work on the housing file to see new, affordable projects built, pronto.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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