Santa can bring af­ford­able hous­ing

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - OPINION -

Dear Santa:

All I want for Christ­mas is an af­ford­able place to live.

In case you are not aware, in Belleville, there is no af­ford­able hous­ing avail­able.

In 2006 I ap­plied for geared- to- in­come hous­ing. At that time I was told there was an ex­pected five to 10 year wait to get hous­ing.

Twelve years later I am still wait­ing and have ma­tured to a se­nior’s list. I know I am not alone in my strug­gles. I have been told in Belleville there are 1,700 other names also on this same wait­ing list.

Be­ing on a lim­ited, fixed in­come is a con­stant strug­gle. Seems like I am al­ways rob­bing Peter to pay Paul. I have al­ready given up ex­tras, things like buy­ing vi­ta­mins or get­ting a hair­cut. I buy Kraft Din­ner in­stead of meat and veg­gies. I no longer go out to din­ner or even to Tim­mies for a cof­fee. I haven’t been out to see a play or a movie or played bingo in months as these are no longer af­ford­able. I am now at the point where there are no ex­tras left to give up. Be­com­ing home­less in a se­ri­ous pos­si­bil­ity.

Even with a room­mate, my apart­ment is cost­ing me 75 per cent of my mo nthly in­come. A geared to in­come apart­ment would cost 30 per cent. You can see what that dif­fer­ence would make to any­one, es­pe­cially those who are on lim­ited fixed in­comes.

Know­ing I am not alone and there are

1,700 oth­ers hav­ing the same strug­gles doesn’t make it eas­ier. I have quit lis­ten­ing to the news as I get frus­trated hear­ing yet an­other group of im­mi­grants are pro­vided with hous­ing while the wait lists keep grow­ing for those of us who were born here. Al­though I can’t af­ford to bake any cook­ies for you this year I am hop­ing, dear Santa, that you would grant my Christ­mas wish and do what­ever you can to help us all who are wait­ing for af­ford­able hous­ing. Del Packard Belleville

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