Quality of Life

What are the principles of Quality of Life?

1. Ensuring economic vitality.

2. Providing housing opportunities.

3. Preserving our environment.

4. Protecting property owners.

5. Building better communities.

What is “Quality of Life”?

Quality of Life (QOL or QoL) is a philosophical and analytical tool for looking at how cities and the people in them live and thrive. It can be said to be an evaluation of our social and economic and physical environments. Its components can include:

ÔÇó standard of living
ÔÇó local economic conditions
ÔÇó access to – and affordability of -- goods and services (commercial, governmental and housing are some of the most important)
ÔÇó degree of freedom
ÔÇó access to and/or involvement in art and entertainment
ÔÇó education
ÔÇó the environment
ÔÇó economic and cultural innovation.

The whole QOL concept is a belated recognition that how cities, towns and their people live, thrive and are happy is a complex and vitally important thing. Merely measuring the economy is no longer enough because there are many components to human and civic well-being. (A good example of this is the environment. Until recently it was considered a niche area for specialists; now concerns about the environment are mainstream and of pressing interest to most people in our communities.) QOL provides a powerful framework for analysis of the present and planning for the future in economics, government and society as a whole. It is a mechanism to determine social policy, to define, strive for and reach the greater good.

Why are REALTORS® so committed to Quality of Life?

The real estate profession is committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting growth that encourages economic vitality, provides housing opportunities and builds communities with good schools and safe and healthy neighbourhoods.

The principles in action:

Ensuring economic vitality
REALTORS® believe a strong economy is the single biggest key to our quality of life and that economic development revitalizes communities by increasing employment, taxes, and the availability of goods and services and by preserving home values. An increased tax base enables governments to deliver necessary public services, provide new amenities for neighbourhoods and maintain infrastructure, all of which promote Quality of Life. LSTAR's mandate in this regard is to serve as a resource for homeowners in all matters related to local business, such as economic development engines, municipal websites, job placement, small business centres, etc.

Providing housing opportunities
Quality of Life means having a mix of safe, affordable, suitable and decent housing near where we work, shop and play, including a variety of rental options geared to all income levels. REALTORS® support and advocate for government programs that permit low-income renters to obtain and retain such housing and incentives that enable renters to achieve home ownership where appropriate.

Preserving our environment
REALTORS® recognize the importance of parks, open space, clean air and water to our quality of life. To protect the environment REALTORS® support policies and programs that encourage conservation and wise use of natural resources, including sustainability. LSTAR's mandate in this regard is to serve as a resource for homeowners on pertinent grants and programs as well as links to provincial parks, etc. While preserving our environment, government must balance conservation with the need for economic growth, recognize the importance of local decision-making and respect individual property rights.

Protecting property owners
The right to freely own, use and transfer real property is the foundation upon which our economy and our society is founded. For that reason, REALTORS® believe that it is important that Canadians' investment in real estate be protected; this includes preserving home values, which is ensured by economic prosperity at the community level. In cases where land is expropriated for the common good or the use of that land is restricted, the investment of that property owner should be protected through timely and adequate compensation.

Building better communities
REALTORS® believe communities flourish when they offer a high quality of life at a reasonable cost. Liveable communities must be sustainable and they must offer a variety of affordable housing choices, employment opportunities, an economically viable commercial sector, good schools, safe neighbourhoods, quality public services, ample recreation opportunities and efficient infrastructure.

View our Quality of Life Handout for an itemization of LSTAR activities that fall under each of the five principles.

This information is provided by the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. The information herein is believed to be accurate and timely, but no warranty as such is expressed or implied.