Housing is a basic human right. We all need somewhere to live and to raise our families and retire in comfort and safety.
The current housing crises that is happening in British Columbia is the direct result of far too many housing development projects being delayed, downsized or denied. Saanich has been no exception to this.
The results have been skyrocketing housing costs and plummeting vacancy rates. A basic one bedroom partment now rents for $1,200 per month. It wasn’t that many years ago when a person could rent a entire house for that amount.
Elderly couples wishing to downsize, students coming here to study, young people and families with jobs, all are impacted by our record low vacancy rate which stands at just 0.5 percent.
The only solution is to build housing especially higher density condominium and townhouse developments. As the largest municipality within the CRD, Saanich needs to play a key role in solving our region’s housing crises.
Across from Uptown is an old school sitting on six acres of land. It is presently being used as a school board office. 1100 units of housing could be developed. Across from uptown is the plaza where Save on Foods and other commercial enterprises are located. A condo tower with ground floor commercial is another example of how we can increase housing inventory without negatively impacting our regional green space.
Pedestrian and bike overpasses between these developments and Uptown which I have dubbed the Uptown Skywalk will not only ensure the smooth flow of traffic but serve as a gateway to Victoria.
We have to also ensure that the housing that is built provides for a variety of income levels and not just wealthy retirees. This means working with the development community as well as other levels of government to make sure we are significantly increasing the number of low income and social housing as well as co-op housing.
As an elected Saanich Councillor increasing our housing inventory will be my number on goal.
Towards a Greener Future:
Mike Geoghegan is a former CEO of AOE Canada a start up wave energy company and is presently also their V.P. of Government Relations. “As a shareholder in this company I am committed to helping provide affordable energy and clean drinking water to coastal and island communities in a manner which does not negatively impact the natural environment.”
“I also believe that higher density development will help reduce encroachment upon Saanich’s green spaces and productive farm land.”
“As I did in Langford where I spent seven years on their planning and zoning committee, green spaces, recreational facilities and hiking and biking trails separated from other road traffic will also be a priority.”
“I am a huge fan of the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails and I use them frequently. My wife and I at least once a week we go for a walk around the lake. These green spaces are what make a city liveable.”
“Saanich is also part of the CRD and as such I will also make sure there is better integration of our regional trail system including getting the CRD to put a bike overpass over the Island Highway in Colwood. This is why I supported Lilja Chong’s successful campaign for Colwood council and why I am so pleased to have her endorsement as a candidate.” - Mike Geoghegan
As the following chart shows taxes in Saanich have inreased 56% over a ten year period from 2006 to 2016. The winner by a mile is North Saanich where taxes haven’t even kept up with inflation. Of the core municipalities, Esquimalt has done the best job keeping tax increases moderate.
As a Saanich resident I do not enjoy seeing my property tax bill increasing year after year. It has been recently brought to my attention that Saanich is one of the few municipalities that marks up the cost of water that is provided by the CRD. This form of hidden taxation is a regressive tax that I will seek to repeal. It’s time that Saanich learned to live within the means of taxpayers.
Higher density residential construction and increased commercial and industrial zoning will allow for continued growth in revenues while allowing Saanich to freeze or even lower property taxes.As a Saanich Councillor I will vote against any proposed property tax rate increases.