Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The work of providing affordable housing never ends

Following is the text of a letter I sent to the Daily Gleaner, which they published on March 31/10:

Re: Affordable housing: The March 20 Daily Gleaner featured a story and editorial related to affordable rental and housing needs in our city. Thank you for once again reporting on this issue, as it requires continued public awareness. The editorial ended with a challenge stating that "Everyone, including the city, should be on board."

I respectfully refer the editorial board and city residents to the City of Fredericton website (www.fredericton.ca). The main page contains a link which features the mandate and membership of our Affordable Housing Committee, and our continuing efforts to raise awareness and acceptance of this important issue. It also features reports on our well-attended and thought-provoking yearly Affordable Housing Days.

The committee's approach to the advocacy of affordable housing is often held up by provincial officials and the non-profit housing sector as a model for other municipalities.

However, the work never ends, as your editorial attests. While we and our partners continue to make inroads, hundreds in our area remain on waiting lists for this basic human right.

The dignity and sense of well-being that individuals and families realize by having a secure and affordable place to call home is often life-changing. Let's all keep that in mind the next time an affordable housing rezoning application is brought forward in our respective neighbourhoods.

Mike O'Brien
City Councillor & Chair, Affordable Housing Committee

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