The long-awaited Marcon project at Thrift Avenue and George Street is now being sold – with prices starting at $849,900 and going up to $2.595 million.
Furthermore, the Oviedo Homes project at Roper Avenue and Best Street claims to be “affordable housing,” yet units there once again are $700,000 to $800,000 and the rentals provided are at market-rate.
These are just two examples that make me question where the City of White Rock’s priorities are with regard to providing housing for the local families they claim they need to attract.
Don’t get me wrong. Change is good and White Rock cannot remain stagnant. But every person who does not support non-stop development should not be discounted as an aging naysayer without any vision.
Just look to the City of Vancouver and the communities of Dunbar and Kerrisdale, where homes unaffordable to locals sit empty, leaving businesses without customers and dying neighbourhoods in their wake.
Residents complained about this phenomenon to the City of Vancouver for years but it fell on deaf ears. Will this be the legacy Mayor Wayne Baldwin and crew leave behind from their development feeding frenzy?
The bottom line is, White Rock needs residents to live and work in their communities, to volunteer, to raise families. They simply cannot afford to at these prices, so the end result will either be a retirement community or a maze of empty homes held as investments by foreign owners and speculators.
The development industry constantly touts the benefits of more supply to great effect. But it needs to be the right type of supply – size and affordable on local incomes – to benefit a community.
It might do the city council well to take a longer-term view and consider the long-term needs of the City of White Rock and its inhabitants, not the monetary desires of the development community, in its decision-making process.
Otherwise, the legacy may be a hollowed-out community of multi-million-dollar homes and no inhabitants, and no vehicles to fill that much-lauded $12.5-million parkade.
Laura McLeod, Surrey