LETTERS: Two perspectives on affordable housing

One reader has concerns about Airbnb regulation, while another blames the government for the housing crisis.

Affordable housing continues to be a much-debated topic in Nelson.

Don’t impede short-term rentals

As a frequent visitor to Nelson over the past 18 years, I’ve followed the rhetoric on the problems of long-term rentals and short-term rentals.

I find it disturbing to read the rules to be implemented for short-term rentals. As a visitor to your fair city annually, I expect to have the choice of renting a hotel room or a nicely furnished and well-kept residence. If a short term rental is not available for me because of the ludicrous rules implemented by your council, I will be going elsewhere for my holidays, as will some of my friends.

We will spend our money somewhere more up-to-date with what tourists want. Your city planners need to have some foresight in the decisions they are making when new residences are in the planning.

Affordable housing is their responsibility, not the responsibility of the citizens in this fair community. I hope to visit Nelson again, but not if the rules to be implemented prevent me from having a room, apartment or residence of my choice.

Angela Hunter,

Georgetown, ON

 

Governments to blame for lack of rental housing

In a recent column Councillor Mike Dailly talked about the housing crisis in Nelson and much of Canada and I agree that there is a housing crisis.

I had never heard of the change in the capital gains deduction as being a cause of the problem — though taxation levels are a very important consideration when investing.

I have always understood the lack of rental housing in BC began in the early 1970s with the introduction of rental controls. Prior to the introduction of rent controls thousands of new rental accommodation were being built by investors every year.

After rent controls, new construction came to a halt and has never recovered.

At the time it was predicted a lack of rental housing would be the result, they were right. It wasn’t long before vacancy rates began to drop and it wasn’t long before the creators of the problem (our government) were promising to solve the problem by building “affordable housing.”

Now the vacancy rate is at zero, the government is still promising to solve the problem by building affordable housing.

Having destroyed the natural market that existed for hundreds if not thousands of years between the suppliers of rental housing and the consumers of rental housing, our government’s don’t seem wish to correct the problem they created.

Their faith in the people to solve their own problem and supply their own needs is very limited but their faith in their own ability to solve problems is limitless despite the evidence to the contrary.

If city councils want to see more rental housing created and the vacancy rate return to normal, they should be pressing the provincial government to phase out rent controls.

Stuart McDonald

Nelson

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