Neighbourhood investment is on the rise


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This article was published 30/07/2021 (673 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

One of the oldest homes in the Luxton neighbourhood is being demolished.

A public notice was recently posted in front of 94 Cathedral Ave. letting the neighbourhood know that the owner of the property has applied to have the building demolished and to split the lot in two to build two buildings.

Neighbourhood groups around the city, such as the Glenwood Neighbourhood Association, have been fighting developers on some of the less favourable aspects of these lot splits, while those on the other side of the argument, such as YIMBY — Yes In My Backyard — Winnipeg, speak about newer homes being more energy efficient and the role denser housing plays on the city’s coffers.

Photo by Steve Snyder The owner of this Luxton area home, at 94 Cathedral Ave., has applied to demolish it and then split the lot upon which it sits.

Both these arguments are true, and my own opinion on the matter is somewhere in the middle; I agree that many of the homes being built aren’t making the neighbourhood a better place, but I also see the need for improvements to help our civic government deal with its stretched budget and to help reduce greenhouse gases.

So, how do we do both? How do we make the neighbourhood more livable while also reaching our infill development goals?

Well, first we need to stop calling it “infill development,” and start calling it what it actually is — neighbourhood investment. You have to understand that these new homes aren’t much different from you investing in your own home. Our neighbourhoods are so great that people want to invest in them.

Which leads to where I think the problem lies…

People aren’t upset that investment is happening; they are upset that this money is flooding into their neighbourhood from the outside. Our residents are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into the neighbourhood, trying to make it a better place to live. Then we see property investors extracting that value, leveraging our labours for their own gain, with no care for the people on the ground.

People think making it more difficult to build in a neighbourhood is the solution, but I think this will only expound the problem. This will virtually ensure that only well-capitalized individuals can invest. It also means they need to build bigger to make up for the added costs.

So, what would I do?

I would make it easier for homeowners to invest in their properties. Make it easier to add a granny flat. Make it easier to put an addition on a house, or make it easier to start a home-based business.

People want to invest in their neighbourhoods, but they can’t with the rules as they currently stand. Changing the rules to give residents more opportunities will help the neighbourhood flourish.

Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association.

Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder
Luxton / Seven Oaks community correspondent

Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association

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