Comment 33444

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2009 at 10:56:00

I don't think anyone would confuse this with an official RTH 'position'.

What highwater said. Actually, I don't even personally have a position on this proposal, let alone an "editorial" position.

While I like the idea of mixed income developments in general, I just don't have enough details to determine whether it will be a well-balanced plan.

A few observations, though:

  • The consortium is hoping the government will provide $18 million out of the $27 million total - that's two-thirds of the cost to off below-market rates on half the units. That in itself is a financial red flag.

  • The public funding works out to be $180,000 per unit to pay for a 20% discount on market rents. Given that you can actually buy a decent house downtown for $180,000, this seems like poor value for a public investment.

In all, it rather looks like the Connaught consortium is hoping to subsidize their for-profit operations through the inclusion of a big public grant under the cover of "affordable housing". Something smells funny here.

To be honest, I've never been able to understand why the solution to unaffordable housing for people with limited means has to be in the form of government-owned or -funded housing.

Why not simply take that money and use it to ensure that everyone has enough income to pay for housing?

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