A conceptual drawing of a new housing and art gallery relocation proposal in downtown Castlegar. Image: City Spaces Consulting

A conceptual drawing of a new housing and art gallery relocation proposal in downtown Castlegar. Image: City Spaces Consulting

Opinion: Do we really want more housing in Castlegar?

We can’t demand more housing and then complain about every development proposal

Housing crisis.

It’s a term we hear bounced around almost daily.

“We need more affordable housing in Castlegar.”

“We need more starter homes.”

“We need more student housing.”

Most of us know people who have had a hard time finding suitable housing in our community.

So why is it that as soon as a housing project is announced, whether it be large or small, that chorus instantly changes to “no thank you, not this type of housing, or not in this location.”

The fact is, we can’t have it both ways.

We can’t ask for more jobs, more businesses and a growing economy without having more housing.

We can’t have more housing without somehow changing the landscape of the city and increasing the population density of our neighbourhoods.

We have a beautiful city, and it is sometimes easy to forget how spoiled we are with our large houses, open spaces, views and the ability to park right in front of our homes or the particular business we hope to visit.

Understandably, no one really wants a new project disrupting their comfort zone. But in order for our city to thrive and people to have places to live, someone has to give up some of “their” space.

A survey conducted by the City of Castlegar as part of public engagement leading up to the city’s new housing strategy showed that a majority of respondents thought the city needs more apartments and townhouses.

Yet negative comments filled the online comment threads of news articles regarding two recent apartment proposals and a townhouse proposal by Habitat for Humanity.

So, do we want more housing or not?

Do we really want to solve our housing crisis?

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betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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