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Connecting Affordable Housing and the Environment - How do We Convince More People, and Governments?

Allison Friedman MA, United States 0 Ratings 99 Discussions 131 Group posts

Posted by: Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

Connecting Affordable Housing and the Environment - How do We Convince More People, and Governments?

I want to point out a sincere and thoughtful piece I came across recently in Huffington Post Canada, British Columbia, by Steve Kux. Steve makes the great point that affordable housing and protecting our environment are integrally connected. It seems so obvious, and yet why don't we see this and why don't sensible policies therefore result? It's like a win-win-win we're skipping on purpose?

"Every day during rush hour, hundreds of thousands of people commute into and out of cities they cannot afford to live in, on roads and transit systems that can't handle burgeoning numbers of users. Imagine the tonnes of carbon emissions we would save if teachers, nurses and police officers could afford to live near schools, hospitals and police stations!"

Why aren't we building more affordably near public transportation? Why can't our teachers and public servants and everyone else as well live closer to their jobs, and why do these challenges just not get enough attention? Maybe we do not see the connections or think them through to some productive enough conclusions.

Why aren't "we" working enough on incentives so that landlords will focus more on energy efficiency? Why isn't it clear that affordable and energy efficient go together? There are so many related issues here and at so many levels of government, it's hard to know where to begin. Heck, I live in a town where people seem to fight every opportunity for affordable housing that comes up. I have just heard about the "Yes In My Backyard" movement and can't wait to learn more about that - it it really means embracing fair and environmentally supportive policies.

Like many others, Steve has to choose between rent he can afford and a reasonable commute - why?

I look forward to discussions on what we can all do together about this, collectively.




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