There’s a lot of different things out there called “affordable housing.”

New rental housing has been called affordable by the City of Vancouver in recent policy. Any housing which costs less than the local average — rents or home prices — has been called affordable by the Government of Ontario. Social housing has been called affordable. Suburban housing is considered affordable compared to urban housing.

One Vancouver city councillor called affordable housing “something that somebody can afford.”

So what does “affordable” really mean if it can refer to so many different things?