Our View: Quality housing is key

Affordable housing needs to be more than simply cheap

The fact that we’re in a housing crisis in B.C. is obvious to everyone.

But just because someone has found a place to live doesn’t mean their troubles are over.

A dispute between tenants of a Langley housing complex and its managers is one of many that take place wherever low-income housing is found. It doesn’t matter whether that housing is subsidized by the government and run by a non-profit, or run privately by a for-profit landlord, the issues from the tenant’s point of view are the same.

Everyone deserves housing, but more than that, everyone deserves housing that is fit for human habitation.

There have been numerous stories from around the Lower Mainland, including Langley, about tenants dealing with mould, mildew, broken plumbing, torn carpets, holes in walls and doors, rickety stairs and more.

In some cases, doubtless the blame, or some of it, falls at the feet of the tenant. In others, it is simply a lack of will or money on the part of the landlord.

The worst case scenario for B.C. remains the grinding misery of those who live in single-room occupancy hotels in parts of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, preyed upon by slumlords who let the buildings rot around their tenants, until the structures are condemned or taken over by the government.

In fact, the slow decay of marginal housing is a part of the homelessness and housing crisis.

When there are buildings falling apart and visibly decaying, it’s easy to say that they should simply be swept away.

But even if the new buildings are brighter, cleaner, better run, where do the residents go during the long rebuilding period?



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read