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Affordable housing a not-so-tiny problem

It’s back to the drawing board for Okotoks town council for the proposed Homestead project in the D’Arcy area.

Council voted in favour by a 5-2 margin to not hold a plebiscite for the proposed $4-million 42 Tiny Homes ecovillage after receiving a more than 2,900  petition signatures against the proposal.

Sure, maybe a plebiscite might have been nice to see if those 2,900 people truly represent the will of the electorate in Okotoks. And, hey, it might be the will of the electorate.

Getting 2,900 signatures and making sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted to ensure the petition is valid is impressive and couldn’t be done without a high degree of organization and support to kill the village project.

A plebiscite would just be another expense, and a low-voter turnout would have been likely.

However, it still leaves Okotoks and council facing an affordable housing crunch—an issue that was just behind the water pipeline when council candidates hit the municipal hustings in October of 2017.

So far, some of the attempts have been a no-go, especially when it comes to the Tiny Homes proposal.

An idea to have some of those small homes near Kinsmen Park also faced public backlash in 2018.

Hopefully, something can be found and quickly.

It would be great if it could be found at the D’Arcy site, which is   owned by the Town of Okotoks and cannot be sold. But that doesn’t seem too feasible, if the Town has to act somehow as a landlord, it will likely once again raise the eyebrows of taxpayers.

Despite the fact, tackling affordable housing is for the public good.

So it’s back to the drawing board to find some affordable housing. It’s an issue that is far from tiny and is not about to go away any time soon.