Ongoing Issues

 Affordable Housing (everything on this page can be tied to the word affordable)

Affordable housing is an issue that truly needs to be looked at.

In a Edmonton Metro article by By: Jeremy Simes, Published on Sun Jul 16 2017

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2017/07/16/affordable-housing-to-enter-the-suburbs-battles-may-ensue.html

“Mayor Don Iveson called on all city councillors to advocate for affordable housing in their communities, rather than push back against them.”

Here is something to think about:

“What is the definition of Normal?”
The answer is different for everyone depending on life experiences and socio-economic factors at the time.

Therefore relating back to the previous statement the question begs to be asked: What is the definition of Affordable?

What is affordable for one person’s eyes is not necessarily “Affordable” in another person’s eyes.
I am all for improving the quality of life for everyone concerned and will do what is in my power and ability to do to bring that to pass.
In order for that to happen the voice of everyone needs to BE HEARD at the table. I fully believe that together everything is possible.
Everyone’s voice needs to BE HEARD (whether in agreement or not) in a meaningful professional manner.

Referencing the term “push back” from Mayor Iveson.
I personally believe in a true democratic society there needs to be opposition or “push back’ ( i will say feedback in all things), in order to get responsible development happening. When there is only yes being said to go along to get along ( as it seems to be happening too much in the council of the day), who actually benefits?


Homelessness

Homelessness is an ongoing issue that all levels of government need to address. For many years now there has been the catch phrase from all levels of plans to end homelessness in 10 years.

In Sept of 2015 the ten year plan at that time fell far short of achieving the goal of ending homelessness.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/10-year-plan-to-end-homelessness-in-alberta-falls-short-1.3223712

On Monday June 26, 2017 an announcement was made by the province, of committing $1.2 billion over the next five years. That is great news and I am all for it as eliminating homelessness is a priority, as everyone needs a safe, warm and dry place to stay.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2017/06/26/province-to-build-4100-new-affordable-housing-units.html


Responsible Development ( I am all for responsible development but has the city been truly up front with residents regarding this file?)

Definition of Responsible:  having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one’s job or role.

In Ward 8  and many other communities across Edmonton the catch phrase of Infill has been a contentious issue with many residents.

Excerpts from Metro article  Published on Mon May 29 2017  :

  • For the sake of density, the city wants to make sure 25 per cent of new builds are infill, meaning new development in older neighbourhoods.
  • City council approved a slate of new rules Monday that will have a big impact on future infill developments in the city’s mature neighbourhoods—making new builds slightly taller, and cutting some of the red tape for developers.
  • Councillors voted unanimously to approve almost all of the changes to Edmonton’s Mature Neighbourhood Overlay, the document that sets out rules on the shape and design of infill development in about 100 older communities.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2017/05/29/edmonton-infill-mature-neighbourhood-overlay-city-council.html

Recently it has come out that Infill is not as affordable as it has been touted by the city.

Ward 1 Councillor Andrew Knack says infill too expensive to sell in Edmonton

Excerpts from Edmonton Journal article published on Friday Sept 1, 2017:

The Ward 1 councillor built one for family and one to sell in Jasper Park. But now he and the rest of council have run into a major problem with the city’s infill strategy: it’s just too expensive.

New city research released Thursday concludes two-thirds of residents can’t afford a $360,000 average-priced home in Edmonton, and most infill homes are listed for well above average.

Knack said the skinny home he tried to sell cost him at least $515,000 to build, plus property tax, legal and real estate fees.

With the research regarding two-thirds of residents cannot afford $360,000 average-priced homes in Edmonton.

How does building row houses of ten units (with one unit selling for $350,000) change the fact that two-thirds of residents can not afford a home worth $10.000 more. If they cannot afford a home for $360,000 then for sure they will not be able to afford a home at $350,000.

With the recent research released, infill is an expensive proposition even if it fit in with a responsible development strategy.

Which it seems at this time it does not.

 


 

Responsible Transportation

I am all for responsible affordable transportation where people are transported in an efficient, cost effective manner. A manner that is  without too much disruption in the general flow of pedestrian, cyclists and vehicular traffic.

Is that happening here in Edmonton?

Here is an article written by Tristin Hopper ( an award-winning reporter working for the National desk of the National Post.) of the Edmonton Metro line published on Tuesday Jan 5th, 2017:

Excerpt:

Recently, a referendum to fund critical Metro Vancouver transportation infrastructure with a sales tax levy was roundly rejected. The “no” vote succeeded largely on the strength of a campaign led by the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation to convince Metro Vancouverites that TransLink, the regional transit authority, was full of untrustworthy spendthrifts.
I suspect the people of Edmonton would be similarly sympathetic to such a claim. They live in a city, after all, that openly agreed to keep them away from their family for an extra 32 minutes each day as penance for running a near-empty 25 km/h train to downtown.
It’s why I urge you, policymakers of Canada; come to Edmonton. Examine its failure. Immerse yourself in its incompetence. Gawk at its ineptitude.
Because if this happens again, good luck trying to convince decent, right-thinking people that a light-rail project will bring them anything except misery and pain.

Edmonton’s new $665 million LRT fails on every single possible justification for construction of light rail transit.

 

With the new Valley Line LRT currently being built the city has come out with a recent report regarding wait times to be similar if not worse than the Metro line. Time will tell on that file.

 

Excerpt:

“Although the majority of the intersections could experience maximum queue lengths of less than 500 metres, it is forecast that seven intersections will experience vehicle queue lengths greater than 500 metres with the following five intersections experiencing queue lengths greater than 600 metres,” the report reads.

  • Whyte Avenue and 83 Street
  • Argyll Road and 83 Street
  • 34 Avenue and 66 Street
  • Eastbound Whitemud Drive ramps and 75 Street
  • 23 Avenue and 66 Street

The worst delays are at Whyte Avenue and 83 Street, where according to graphs in the report, westbound drivers trying to turn north will wait more than three-and-a-half minutes. The current wait time at that intersection is 17 seconds.

Report shows lineups as long as 500m at some intersections due to southeast Valley Line LRT

It is interesting to note that the council of the day had the opportunity to elevate some of the Valley Line LRT.

Would that have helped to build a more responsible transportation system?

I believe a discussion around that topic is important and the residents of the city should be truly consulted and information provided before the fact not after the fact.

On the doorstep I have talked with people from Vancouver that are now living in Edmonton and they are happy with the Vancouver Sky Train as it allows pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic to move smoothly and in harmony.

They are curious why Edmonton is building at grade rather than elevated or underground?