COSMOS aerial image of the Semiahmoo Peninsula in 2017. (City of Surrey image)

EDITORIAL: Clear yet conflicting housing arguments for Surrey, White Rock politicians

Politicians prepare for election as voters ask for less development and more ‘affordable housing’

There are two clearcut messages being sent to city halls in Surrey and White Rock that will likely resonate in the lead-up to this year’s civic election.

One, that there is far too much housing development.

And two, that there is a great need for affordable homes.

That these two somewhat-conflicting viewpoints are at times expressed by the same concerned citizens does nothing to simplify directives being heard by civic leaders. No doubt, the politicians themselves are personally sympathetic to both arguments, though their public actions have done little to be effective on either front.

The first message – about too much development – is often accompanied by the desire to retain trees, both for esthetics and, more importantly, for our health and the well-being of the environment.

Indeed, satellite images innovatively posted online by the City of Surrey shows a timeline that graphically indicates where vast pockets of natural landscape have been replaced by development over the decades.

Using this technology, no doubt, you’ll be able to see your own neighbourhood – even your current home and, perhaps, what came before it. So much so that if you argue against any particular prospective development, proponents would be able to question cheekily whether your home should have been built way back when.

The second message – about a lack of affordable housing – is equally heartfelt, in that the rising cost of ownership and subsequent rent these past two years is attracting only the wealthy and, anecdotally, driving generations of existing residents from their hometowns.

That few of the many aforementioned homes under development would be classified as “affordable” is perhaps the only point where these arguments don’t conflict. However, it is clear that any creation of new housing – affordable or otherwise – will result in a changing landscape.

Now, as voters prepare to head for the polls Oct. 20, both incumbents and hopefuls who put their names forth should prepare to bring with them solutions, not just intent to do better.

After all, simply pointing out difficult problems may well be the role of critics and, admittedly, opinion writers. Identifying and implementing tangible solutions is the politicians’ raison d’être.


Just Posted

Surrey man’s death prompts call for change

Hospital beds for patients with both medical and mental-health issues are ‘very limited’: coroner

‘Dream come true’ for flower-retrieving trio of figure skaters

Cloverdale, North Delta girls chosen for special task during Grand Prix event at UBC

Volunteers sought for White Rock Christmas Bird Count

Annual inventory of feathered friends set for Dec. 29

Surrey needs more Mounties now, city councillor says

Linda Annis says public safety cannot be put on hold while city forms its own police force

‘It’s just taking your dreams away’: Cloverdale farmer worries ALR changes will kill house plans

Kevin Buttar’s house has been in progress for five years; new rules may have him starting all over

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Vancouver Whitecaps lose Kei Kamara, protect 11 players from expansion draft

The club added two goalies, a winger and a midfielder during Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window

Most Read

l -->