Part of my vision as mayor is for the Forest City to be a place where every Londoner has a safe place to call home. This is definitely possible, but it’s going to take investment and important policy changes.
London can be a place where all new developments must make allowances for the inclusion of affordable units. To achieve this important goal, local governments and private sector companies must find a way to work together to ensure we’re creating more affordable housing options in London. That said, this is only one piece of the work that must be done on the housing front.
Our existing stock of social housing is at a critical point. The London Middlesex Housing Corporation is facing an infrastructure deficit of $228 million. This deficit means members of our community are not living in dignified conditions. Units go without crucial repairs because there isn’t the money available to do the work. Completing these long overdue repairs, along with making necessary upgrades to these aging buildings, requires one solution — critical investment.
A more concerning problem than the need to sufficiently fund repairs to existing units is the realization this doesn’t speak to the need for new social housing. We need to build more social housing units, so we can meet the needs of individuals and families who’ve been stuck on wait lists for far too long.
The City of London alone cannot foot the bill for these necessary solutions. The solution is to secure financial assistance from not only the federal and provincial governments, but also the private sector as well.
As a council, my colleagues and I worked hard to lay the groundwork to tackle this serious issue. That said, it will take another term of council to secure the necessary funding from the upper levels of government.
I’m asking for you to support my campaign because as London’s mayor I can finish the important and necessary work needed to make sure every Londoner has a safe and dignified place to call home.
As a prominent midsize city in southwestern Ontario, London has a big responsibility to provide leadership on many fronts. This term of council laid the groundwork to creating a more regional approach to tackling many of our biggest, most difficult to issues. Cities and towns in southwestern Ontario are all trying to tackle the same issues, yet each have different skills and resources to bring to the table. Re-creating the wheel in each community keeps everyone busy, but it doesn’t actually solve the problems.
One way the community can help is through council utilizing one of the important tools, which is inclusionary zoning.
When a developer comes to the table with an application, they have to be in compliance with the zoning for a certain area. There are trade-offs that can be given to enhance the intensity of the building or other aspects through what is called bonussing. Bonusing is a trade-off where the community gets some sort of benefit from the development. Sometimes you will see bonusing for public art, bonusing for public access, bonusing for green roofs or better architecture, things like that.
When bonusing is part of the development, it is only tied to that site-specific instance. The province now allows something called inclusionary zoning in the bonusing. That means developers are now part of the solution in creating affordable housing.
We can trade off height, units per sq. hectare, all sorts of different things where proponents will basically be making affordable units within their multi-million-dollar projects. It’s another example of the future of London being about all of us together and not us and them.