As heartening as it is to hear that another organization is taking up the challenge of attempting to solve the local housing shortage in Estevan and area, we've pretty well run out of talk time.
Earlier this year a group headed by a consortium of local churches launched a series of discussions and planning sessions to help the community move toward a plan for lower cost housing with the suggestion that their action plan would be rolling out right about now.
Then we hear the Saskatchewan Southeast Enterprise Region (SSEER) is about to begin the process all over again with their regional housing initiative.
We assume their reference point will be modest housing proposals and not more mini-mansions. If that is the case, we should also trust they'll be able to use the information obtained by the previous group which will enable them to fast track an action plan.
With a clean coal project about to be launched within two months, and further expansion promised in the south Saskatchewan oil patch, there will be a crying need for even more housing for people earning less than $60,000 a year and yes, there are still people out there who are earning less than that who require accommodations that won't eat up more than three-quarters of their monthly salaries.
If this community is going to grow in a semi-healthy manner, it will require a few thousand more people who will be willing to work for modest pay and still hold on to the promise of being able to get ahead, not fall behind.
Estevan does not need to be the city that people had to leave because it was the community where they got the entrepreneurial spirit sucked out of them. We want to be known as the advanced-thinking community that got people moving forward, not backward.
So we applaud SSEER and their predecessors, but we issue a warning that there is no longer time for study. That's been done. The facts, figures and needs have been well chronicled.
The time has now come for action.
A booming economy can be relentless in its need to be fed quickly and right now Estevan and area requires modestly priced housing solutions.
How to get there has been documented, it's getting there that has been the problem.
So it's time to start on the solutions, not study them. That time is long gone.