Letter to the editor: We need to change housing rules

Published Oct. 16 2018

To the Voters of Haliburton County

I have been a taxpayer and voter in Dysart for over 30 years and by choice I have kept my political opinions to myself and have voted as I see fit.

Firstly please vote! Spend some time to research the candidates and then make a decision but vote! Vote and go have a local beer.

Secondly there is an issue that stares us in the face but we really don’t spend much time openly discussing it. Housing costs. Oh yes there has been some media play on it and there have been a couple of committees formed to try to resolve it but nothing really changes on the subject because quite frankly it is an elephant in the room. Providing low cost housing means low income people will be moving in and we really want high income people living here right? Let’s face it that’s the way it is.

Why would I say that? Because our current elected officials same as the last elected officials are stuck in the mud and can’t move forward. Progressive communities around the world are removing barriers such as minimum square footage requirements that restrict home building to those with money.

Using Dysart as an example a person with residential zoning has to build a minimum of 800 square feet. Small yes but consider how many people would be able to build smaller homes if allowed.

And allowing smaller homes (remove minimum square footage requirements) would move some people out of the “rent trap” and into “pride of ownership” thus freeing up rental space for those that truly need it.

There is a worldwide tiny house movement so this is a chance for local builders to start pushing for this ridiculous requirement to be removed. There is no legitimate reason for any government to tell a person how big of a house they should build especially when we have a housing crisis.

But what do I know?

Happy voting.

Dan Gibson