Saturday, October 17, 2009

Urban Sustainability and Affordable Housing

The recent housing boom has left many renters in Moose Jaw with increased rents and little opportunity to purchase their own home. Recent fires, capital projects, and buildings badly in need of repair have left many low-income renters displaced. Meanwhile, Moose Jaw continues to grow outward and we continue to see missed opportunities to refurbish existing buildings, often heritage buildings. Affordable housing initiatives must take priority. Council must develop and implement a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability in Moose Jaw, meaning we need to start building the friendly city to be a place for people instead of just cars. Urban sustainability, including improved public transportation, a citywide program for recycling and composting, maximizing energy conservation throughout the city, more community gardens, a permanent farmers market for the purchase of locally produced food, bike lanes, a car share program, well-maintained sidewalks and walking paths, and ending urban sprawl while rebuilding core neighbourhoods.

A key part of urban sustainability is reviving core neighbourhoods through affordable housing initiatives. This requires Council to work with community organizations & follow their recommendations for improving low-income housing opportunities in Moose Jaw.
The City will have to partner with these community organizations and other levels of Government to plan and build more affordable housing, and where opportunities exist to turn city-owned properties or heritage buildings into affordable housing, these opportunities should be seized.
Urban sustainability is a step we must take today to foster a brighter tomorrow. If the right decisions are not made now, future generations will pay. On October 28th, Vote for Larissa Shasko, Vote for Tomorrow.

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